That war with Russia is ultimately inevitable is acknowledged by most western diplomats and international commentators. Every political move made by the Soviet in recent years suggests this objective. And, in fact, the international policies and Military strategy of US and other Western democracies are based upon this conclusion.
The inevitability of World War III, therefore, is not in doubt; the only question is when will it occur?
The common man or woman can do nothing effective to prevent it. The nations are caught in such a tide of events that must sweep them over the precipice to destruction. Some $500 billion are spent on weapons of destruction every year, with some 60,000,000 employees throughout the world working on munitions making or its relative trades.
Some day those weapons of destruction will be used, and the world caught up in the vortex of Armageddon.
The war will be centered in the Middle East, but its outworkings will extend to all parts of the world, bringing widespread destruction and death.
But though the common man or woman can do nothing to prevent it, it is important to their eternal salvation that they recognize the prophetic significance of current world events and that they act to secure their personal salvation. What that involves we will outline in this article.
Firstly, let them recognize that Russia finds a place in Bible prophecy, and its growth today witnesses to the imminence of Christ's return. Ezekiel the prophet, over 2500 years ago, predicted that in the "latter days", Russia will invade the Middle East and involve all nations in war.
But Bible prophecy also shows that at such a time, Jesus Christ will return from heaven, to overthrow the political and military schemes and ambitions of men and nations, and to reign from Jerusalem over a world at peace.
Today Russia is unconsciously fulfilling Bible prophecy, and so witnesses to those who understand its message, that Christ's coming is near.
Since World War II, nation after nation has been swallowed up by Russian aggression. Here is a record of its conquests:
1939: Occupied Lithuania, Latvia and Finland.
1940: Annexed Estonia.
1946-49: Annexed Poland, East Germany, Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria and Rumania. Occupied half of Berlin.
1956: Brutally crushed Hungarian opposition.
1968: Occupied Czechoslovakia.
1975: Intrigued in Vietnam.
1976: Communist troops invade Angola.
1978: Communist troops entered Ethiopia.
1979: Assisted in the invasion of Kampuchea.
1979: Afghanistan invaded.
The invasion of Afghanistan alerted even President Carter to the menace. Before then he had placed his confidence in a policy of "détente" with Russia, but with that act, which puts the vital supplies of the West in jeopardy, he saw the light: he recognized it as a direct challenge to the West and reacted accordingly.
Since then the West has continued to develop its military potential so as to effectively counter the Russian attack when it comes. But it is already out-maneuvered and out-gunned by the Soviet.
An article in The Bulletin some time back, written by R. Moss claimed that Russia has not only worked out a plan for world domination, but has set a time for the accomplishment of its objectives. Moss is lecturer at the Royal College of Defence Studies at the NATO Defence College in Rome, and therefore is in a position to write with authority.
"Russia's standing army is more than twice the size of that of the United states - reflecting the traditional Russian emphasis, in Tzarist as well as Soviet times, on large standing armies".
The article concludes:
"The Russians are on the march. We are witnessing the rise of a would-be world imperial power"
Let us state clearly that we are not attacking Communism as such; nor Democracy as against Socialism. We are interested in the factual developments of world events because they confirm what Bible prophecy predicts. The growth of Russian power is a notable sign of the times indicating that the world is on the eve of the most dramatic event of all history: the return of Christ in power and glory.
Emergence of Andropov
Recently, Yuri Andropov, head of the KGB from l967 until l982 assumed supreme control in the Soviet. The Bible predicts the emergence of a Russian Dictator (styled a 'prince' in Ezekiel 38:2, but the Hebrew is expressive of one elevated as a dictator) who will direct an invasion of the Middle East, and precipitate the world into war.
Will Andropov prove to be the man? We believe that a successor will do so, but that Andropov will contribute to that end. It is significant that every change of leadership in Soviet Russia has witnessed a development towards the crisis predicted by the Bible. Russian leaders are not removed by vote as western politicians are, and this affords them formidable power to implement their policies in a dictatorial manner.
Each of the rulers of Russia since the Revolution in 1917 introduced dramatic changes that have led to important developments.
Lenin in 1917 changed the political philosophy of the country. He overthrew the Tzarist regime, and established the Communist system.
Stalin, his successor, with brutal ruthlessness and complete indifference to the sufferings of the Russian peasants or others who stood in the way of his policy, crushed opposition by the exercise of terror. No less than 10,000,000 Russians died by that means. The same ruthlessness was shown when Russia invaded Germany at the close of World War II. So relentless were they that the Germans pleaded for the allies to take over Berlin rather than the Soviet. But the Russians marched in and Berlin suffered frightfully as a result.
Kruschev followed Stalin, and he extended Russian influence into the international field. The philosophy of Lenin and the ruthlessness of Stalin now became features of Russian international policy. Witness Kruschev's famous statement when visiting the States: "We will bury you!" he angrily retorted to Americans who challenged him.
Brezhnev, Andropov's predecessor, set himself to make Russia the undisputed foremost military power in Europe and the world, and succeeded. This was a notable development of Bible prophecy which requires that Russia be strong in that particular. Prophecy speaks of Russia possessing "all sorts" of weapons of war, and in that regard her inventiveness is apparent to all (Ezekiel 38:4,7).
And what of Andropov? At the time of writing, his impact upon the world scene is.yet to be revealed; and it could be that he will be followed by a successor who will fulfil the role predicted of the Russian ruler in Ezekiel 38. It is significant, that each ruler in succession has built upon his predecessor in such a manner as to indicate that Russia will never be satisfied with anything less than world power.
That attempt will culminate in Armageddon.
Time-limit For Survival
According to Moss, the Russians have established a time-limit for their objective.
Russia, however, is not the only Power with a time-table of purpose. God also has His set time when He will send back Jesus Christ to establish His reign on earth. The Bible teaches, "there is a set time to favour Zion" (another name for Jerusalem - see Psalm 102:13); "the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night. . " (2 Pet 3:10); "the day of the Lord cometh . . . for I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle . . " (Zechariah 14:1-2).
The clear teaching of the Bible is that Jesus Christ must return to the earth to fulfil the plan that God has had from the very beginning: the establishing of His righteous rule thereon. Christ will return as personally and as visibly as he ascended into heaven. As the Apostles stood on the Mount of Olives, overlooking Jerusalem, and saw the Lord Jesus ascend into heaven, they were told by angels sent of God:
"Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner, as ye have seen him go into heaven" (Acts 1:1l).
Accordingly, when they preached the Gospel, it was the good news concerning the second coming of the Lord. Listen to Peter:
"Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; and He shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you; whom the heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began" (Acts 3:19-21).
Notice how definite is the teaching of the second coming of the Lord? The doctrine was basic to the Apostles' Proclamation of the Gospel. Now hearken to Paul as he set it forth in Athens:
"God hath appointed a day, in the which He will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof He hath given assurance unto all men, in that He hath raised him from the dead" (Acts 17:31).
Numerous references to the second coming are found in the Bible, clearly showing that it is the design of God to send Jesus Christ back to this earth to replace the rule of man with that of God. What else can the following teaching signify?
"The God of heaven shall set up a kingdom that shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever" (Daniel 2:44).
"The Lord shall be king over all the earth" (Zechariah 14:9).
"He (Jesus) shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David (i.e. Jerusalem - see Jeremiah 3:17); and he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever, and of his kingdom there shall be no end" (Luke 1:32-33).
The Bible clearly teaches that Christ is coming to reign on earth.
Clear Signs Of Christ's Coming
The growth of Russian power, and the modern revival of Israel constitute clear signs, plainly foretold in the Bible, witnessing to the imminence of Christ's coming.
Their development has been side by side.
In 1917, the Red Revolution bathed Russia in blood and established Communism in power. In the same year, General Allenby drove the Turks from Palestine and the British Government proclaimed the Balfour Declaration, offering newly liberated Palestine as a national home to the Jews.
In 1947 the Soviet celebrated its 30th anniversary, by which time it had developed to world influence; and the same year UNO determined that the Jewish people would be permitted to develop their independent national existence, which they did under the name of Israel.
In 1967 Russia celebrated its 50th anniversary with an ominous display of militarism; and in the same year, after the amazing victory of the "Six Days' War", Israel occupied Jerusalem for the first time in 2000 years.
The preservation of the Jewish people throughout the ages, and the amazing revival of the nation in modem times, are essential to the purpose of God, fulfilling the requirements of Bible prophecy. Consider this prediction:
"I will take the children of Israel from among the nations wither they be gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land; and I will make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king unto them all" (Ezekiel 37:21-22).
Notice the sequence of development in the above prophecy:
The first two events have had token fulfillment in recent years. The third will be fulfilled when he who was born and died as "King of the Jews" (Matthew 2:2; 27:37) will return to take his great power and reign.
The Rise of Russia Predicted in The Bible
Side by side with the uprise of Israel, the world has witnessed a further great sign of Christ's second coming in the emergence of Russia as a world Rower. Eight hundred years ago, Russia was a tiny nation occupying a small tract of territory adjacent to Moscow. Today, Russian Communism dominates no less than one quarter of the entire land mass of the world, and about 40 per cent of its population. In 1903, Lenin had 17 inscribed supporters; today Communism counts its adherents in hundreds of Millions!
This mighty accumulation of power has gradually developed over the years. It was given particular impetus during World War II. Fifty years ago, Russia was bottled up in its own vast territory; forty years ago she had difficulty coping with the tiny neighboring nation of Finland. Today she is a world power that is feared by all others. The West knows the threat to peace that Russia, withits communistic ideology, presents, and is fearful as to when and where she might strike.
The Bible reveals this. 2,500 years ago, the Bible predicted the head-lines of tomorrow's news, and we are in a position to see that its predictions are correct, and to appreciate the true significance of the times in which we live.
We invite the Reader to carefully read Ezekiel 38. It prophesies that there will take place "in the latter days" (v. 16), an overwhelming invasion of the Middle East, by a power that shall descend "from out of the north parts" (v. 15) against God's "people of Israel".
We undertake to show that the power referred to is Russia. The prophecy of Ezekiel 38 provides the details. The prophet was told (v. 2):
"Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him . . ."
As this prophecy concerns "the latter days" (v.16), these titles must relate to modem nations; but as the titles were those familiar to the world of 2500 years ago, it is necessary to turn to the records of history to identify them. Thus Josephus, the Jewish historian of the first century, shows that Magog related to the ancient Scythians, concerning whom, Herodotus wrote:
"They spread from the River Tanais, or Don, westward along the banks of the Istir, or Danube."
The Magogites occupied the territory of East Germany, or Central Europe, which thus can be identified as the land of Magog. It is of the utmost significance that today, Russia occupies East Germany.
Meshech is the ancient form of Muscovy, from whence came the word Moscow.
Tubal is mentioned in conjunction with Meshech (cp. Ezekiel 2 7:13), and therefore naturally suggests Tobolski, the metropolis of Siberia. Tobolski gains its name from the river Tobol that runs through that area.
These titles therefore point directly to Soviet Russia, whose power today extends to Central Europe, or to the "land of Magog".
Other nations are described as being with the Russian Gog in his invasion of the Middle East. Verse 5 declared:
"Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya with them . . ."
It is significant that this verse links these three nations together as being associated with Russia. All three have an experience in common. They received their independence following World War II. Persia is modem Iran. At the conclusion of World War II, the occupying forces of Russia and Britain withdrew and the Shah was established as head of the state. Vital to the regime of the Shah were the close links established with the West. But from Ezekiel's prophecy and elsewhere, Bible students knew that ultimately Persia (Iran) must fall under the influence of Russia.
Today, the close links that once existed between Iran and the west have been ruptured, and Russian influence in Iran is increasing.
Libya and Ethiopia were part of Mussolini's Italian Empire until the conclusion of World War II. They both received independence following the completion of that war; and both commenced their independence with strong ties of agreement and mutual interest with Britain. Today, Libya is closely connected with Russia; and Soviet forces have entered Ethiopia and established a Communist regime there.
Thus modern history has conformed to the requirements of this amazing prophecy of the latter days.
The prophecy requires an Eurasian confederacy of nations headed by Russia to invade the Middle East, in an attempt at world domination. It will ignite the spark that will flame into World War III, and involve all nations in Armageddon (Revelation 16:15-16).
A further point of identification is given in v. 15. Gog is said to descend from "out of the uttermost parts of the north" (R.V.) against "the mountains of Israel." A glance at the map will show that this can only relate to Russia. Russia is in longitudinal line from Jerusalem, whilst Russia dominates all the territory in the "uttermost parts north" of Israel.
In this remarkable prophecy, God has revealed the future intentions and destiny of Russia, and outlined the crisis that will involve all nations without exception.
Russia Directly Named in The Bible
Gog is represented as chief of a mighty host incorporating most of Europe and Asia. Three times he is described as "chief prince of Meshech and Tubal" (Ezek. 38:2,3; 39:1).
What does this title signify?
The Hebrew word rendered prince signifies "one lifted up", i.e. a dictator, and not necessarily a prince of royal birth. The word "chief" is Rosh, and Hebraists state that it is a proper noun and should be rendered as such. The Revised Version (as with other translations) render it as such, and defines Gog as "Prince of Rosh, Meshech and Tubal"
Rosh was the ancient name of Russia. The historian Gibbon wrote: "Among the Greeks, Russia was known as Ros" George Sava, in Russia Triumphant that Russia was first known by the name of Rus, and the people were called Russi. Bochart, Stanley, Schoffield and other Bible commentators, claim that in the word Rosh there is found "the most ancient form in Hebrew for Russia"
Gog is therefore Dictator of Russia, Moscow and Siberia. The prophecy shows that one day the Soviet will plunge the world into war by a sudden attack on the Middle East.
The Bait That Will Draw Russia into The Middle East
But God has set His face against this power from the north:
"Thus saith the Lord God: Behold I am against thee 0 Gog ... and I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws, and will bring thee forth, and all thine army..." (Ezekiel 38:3).
"I will do it," says God. "'I will draw Russia and her armies into the Middle East" He likens Himself to a fisherman with baited hook, inexorably drawing His struggling and twisting catch, to the point where He wants to take it.
That is a feature of current events that should not be overlooked. Rulers and statesmen imagine that they are the arbiters of destiny, and that the peace and goodwill of the world depends upon their wisdom and decisions.
Nothing is further from the Truth.
It is God who "rules in the kingdom of men" (Daniel 4:17). He uses the ambitions and schemes of men and nations to further His plans. He used Hitler, with his anti-Semitism, to drive the Jews back to Palestine (Jer. 16:15-16). He is using the ambitions of Russia to "gather all nations" to the Middle East for judgement. And though Russia might attempt to evade the issue, events will ultimately bring her, together with all other nations (Zechariah 14:2), to Jerusalem, the city of destiny.
And what desirable bait is found on that hook! The Middle East provides the richest strategic and economic prizes the world has to offer. It is the bridgehead of three main continents, linking Africa, Asia and Europe as one. It contains the richest oil deposits in the world. It is the strategic springboard for world domination.
Take but one of the prizes mentioned above - oil. God, Who created the world, not only arranged the land masses so as to cause 'His land' (Ezekiel 38:16) to be most desirable from a strategic point of view, but also hid beneath its soil that most essential of all commodities today - oil.
The Middle East contains three-fourths of the world's proven oil reserves. Even though Russia may have sufficient oil for her own use, her domination of the area would bring most nations subject to her control. But, in fact, current estimates indicate that by 1985 Russia will be in the position of having to import oil, particularly if she continues to supply the Soviet dominated countries of east Europe. If Russia dominated the oil of the Middle East, she could dictate her terms to the whole of Europe whether east or west of the Iron Curtain.
A political commentator recently declared:
"Russia's aim is to use local upheavals to gain control of the entire oil supplies In the Middle East. Having done this, Russia could supply oil to western Europe on terms involving European surrender, or force Europe to buy from America. If Europe chose the latter course, every NATO country would be dollar bankrupt within a few months. If, in order to allow Europe to earn dollars to pay for the oil, America opened her markets, her own domestic economy would be ruined"
That is the dilemma facing the western World today.
Russia has become more and more involved in the Middle East, and once it is obvious that political penetration has failed, she will resort to war.
Ezekiel 38:16 predicts the "latter days" Russian invasion of the Middle East in these terms:
"Thus saith the Lord God: It shall come to pass, that at the same time shall things come into thy mind, and thou shalt think an evil thought; and thou shalt say, I will go up to the land of unwalled villages; I will go to them that are at rest, that dwell safely . . . . to turn thine hand upon the desolate places now inhabited, and upon the people gathered out of the nations ... against my people Israel" (Ezekiel 38:11-12,16).
According to former US Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger, the Soviet Union already has contingency plans to "wipe out" Israel under certain conditions. In his memoirs "White House Years" serialized in "Time", he stated that during discussions with the Soviet Ambassador in 1971, he asked how would Russia react if Israel threatened the l5,000 Soviet soldiers then in Egypt. He was told: "If the Israelis threaten us, we will wipe them out within two days. I can assure you our plans are made for this eventuality".
So evidently, the men of the Kremlin have already "thought their evil thought" in the terms of Ezekiel's prophecy. They already have plans for such an invasion as the prophet anticipated 2,500 years ago.
Israel's Place In Prophecy
Ezekiel 38 thus not only predicts a Russian invasion of the Middle East in the "latter days", but actually describes the political state of the country at the time of the invasion.
And the description exactly conforms to current conditions.
The prophecy declares that Russia will come "against Israel" But until May 1948, Israel had no political existence, so that until then this prophecy could not be fulfilled!
Israel came into political existence in defiance of the will of Britain, America and the world. The Jews were advised that the time was not ripe for the re-establishment of their nation, and the Western Powers withdrew any help they could have given it. The Arabs waged war on the newly born State, and threatened to destroy it.
Instead, it emerged as the most powerful nation of the Middle East.
Ezekiel declared that the Israelis would dwell "safely" or "confidently" in the land. Confidence is a feature of modern Israel. On three occasions she has decisively defeated the combined Arab nations, and is confident of doing so again.
Today, Israel dwells with an even greater sense of "safety" brought about by the signing of the pact with Egypt, and her successful invasion of Lebanon, events that likewise have been anticipated by Bible prophecy.
Meanwhile, let us clearly recognize the significance of her existence today. Israel is one of the oldest nations of antiquity, and yet one of the most modern. It is the only nation whose people have been scattered into all parts of the earth, and yet re-gathered again to the land of their forefathers. Its language is the only language to have been resurrected from a dead language into a living modern tongue. Israel is a microcosm of the whole world, for the average Israeli comes from any of 70 different countries. It is a tiny nation of only 4,000,000 people, yet it dominates world politics more than most other nations five times its size.
The emergence of Israel as a nation demonstrates that we are living in the very shadow of the most dramatic event of all history: the second advent of the Lord Jesus. The Bible declares:
"Hear the word of the Lord, O ye nations, and declare it in the isles far off, and say, He that scattered Israel will gather him" (Jer. 31:10).
The Bible describes the purpose of Jewish return thus:
"David shall never want a man to sit upon the throne of the house of Israel... for I will cause their captivity to return, and have mercy on them" (Jeremiah 33:17,26).
Jesus Christ is the one promised by God to sit upon the restored throne of David in Jerusalem (see Luke 1:32-33; Matthew 19:28). Of that time, the prophet Jeremiah declares:
"At that time they shall call Jerusalem the throne of the Lord; and all the nations shall be gathered unto it . . . . neither shall they walk any more after the imagination of their evil heart" (Jeremiah 3:17).
But the self-confident Jewish State of today is not ready to receive Christ; it must be humbled before its citizens will bow the knee to him. The Russian invasion of the Middle East will accomplish that.
God Challenges Russian Might
Though the Russian invasion of the Middle East will precipitate war between the East and the West neither side will gain the supremacy. (A protest will be voiced by Powers that can be identified as the English-speaking world in conjunction with certain Arab nations (Ezekiel 38:13), but it will prove ineffectual and will be brushed aside.) It will conclude as a one-sided contest between the Russian Colossus and Christ; between the greatest accumulation of human power ever wielded by man, and irresistible Divine power in the hands of the Son of God. The Russian Gog is invited to prepare for this battle. In the language of irony, he is addressed:
"Be thou prepared, and prepare for thyself, thou, and all thy company that are assembled unto thee, and be thou a guard unto them" (Ezekiel 38:7).
Russia is a guard unto its satellite nations. The word, in its original form, implies one who hedges in those over whom it has gained control. It is an excellent definition for Russia with its "iron curtain" barrier.
The Russian Gog, with his godless Communism, is invited to mass his mighty accumulation of power, his modern, nuclear weapons of war, his guided missiles, his space rockets, his massed legions of soldiers - for a dramatic contest of power, in which Christ will vindicate his authority, and show the folly of Jew and Gentile who put their confidence in the arm of flesh.
And Russia's power is mighty from a human standpoint. She has more soldiers under arms than the rest of the world put together; the second largest navy; the greatest number of submarines; the biggest air force. Since World War II, no less than 1,000 million people have been drawn into the Communist camp. The influence of the Soviet today extends deep into European territory; it wages a constant war of nerves on Turkey; it continually intrigues in the Middle East; it manifests open hostility towards Israel.
In due time, Russia, having confederated other European nations under its control, will invade the Middle East. The world will be convulsed in the greatest crisis of all history. The passions of men will overflow unil all reason is submerged. It will erupt into a struggle to the death between East and West, which will involve the nations. The Middle East will become the focal point of impact. Russia will drive south to Egypt (Daniel 11:40-45), and will finally lay siege to Jerusalem, drawing all nations to that city to battle (Zechariah 14:2).
The city will fall to Gog's onslaught, and the Jews, with their British and American allies, will be driven back. Russia's triumph will seem complete! The world will appear to be on the eve of becoming completely Communized, when suddenly a new power will be manifested in the political arena. Jesus Christ will return to intervene in the affairs of the nations, and set up his power on earth.
Christ's Coming Humbles The Nations
The Bible indicates that before Russia invades Israel, an event of even greater importance will take place. It teaches that judgment must "begin at the house of God" (1 Peter 4:17; 2 Thessalonians 2:1; 2 Timothy 4:1,8). For that purpose, Christ will resurrect those of his followers who have died, and together with living believers, will bring them before him, that he might reward them according as their work has been (Revelation 22:12: 1 Corinthians 15:20-23). To the righteous, he will grant life eternal (Romans 2:7; Matthew 19:29), but the "second death" will be the lot of those who have proved rebellious (Revelation 2:11, Galatians 6:8).
Having thus judged his own, he will proceed to judge the world (2 Thessalonians 1:7-8). He will move against the nations then convulsed in war, seeking, particularly, to cleanse the Holy Land of the polluting presence of the warring armies (Ezekiel 39:7). By the exercise of Almighty power his enemies will be defeated. The very elements will be used to that end. A frightening storm will break over the Holy Land; heaven's artillery will thunder forth; lightning and hail of unprecedented extent will beat down the enemy, a terrible earthquake will shake the ground. The heterogeneous forces of the Russian invader will be seized with fear and panic. In superstitious dread, they will turn their weapons on one another, in a terrible mutual slaughter. The prophet predicts:
"Surely in that day there shall be a great shaking in the land of Israel . . . and I will call for a sword against him (Gog) throughout all My mountains, saith the Lord God, every man's sword will be against his brother. And I will plead against him with pestilence and with blood; and I will rain upon him, and upon his bands, and upon the many people that are with him, an overflowing rain, and great hailstones, fire and brimstone, Thus will I magnify, and sanctify Myself; and I will be known in the eyes of man nations, and they shall know that I am the Lord" (Ezekiel 38:18-23).
Gog's defeat will be complete and final.
What will it accomplish?
The prophet declares: "When Thy judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants thereof will learn righteousness" (Isa. 26:9). The terrible disaster, the remarkable victory, will result in the elevation of the Lord Jesus. The initial success of Russia will humble the forces of the West and of Israel; its final defeat will lay the pomp and power of man in the dust. God shall then be elevated in the person of His son.
For Christ will call upon all nations to submit to his rule. Those who refuse will be overthrown; those who submit will be incorporated in the Kingdom he will set up on earth. The prophet declares: "The nation and kingdom that shall not serve thee shall perish" (Isaiah 60:12). But he also speaks of vast changes that shall be brought about in the earth:
"It shall come to pass in the last days ... that many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the House of the God of Jacob, and He shall teach as of his ways, and we will walk in his paths, for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation neither shall they learn war anymore" (Isaiah 2:2-4).
Thus the prophet saw beyond Armageddon to a time when men will voluntarily turn to God, to learn of His ways and to walk in His paths. Then international peace and goodwill will prevail, and the Lord's prayer be fulfilled: "Thy kingdom come, and that Thy will may be done in earth as it is in heaven" Then will the song of the angels at the birth of Christ become a fact: "Glory to God in the highest, and upon earth peace and goodwill towards men"
Christ's victory at Armageddon will be but the first of a series of Divine judgments in the earth that will bring all nations ultimately under his control. Men at last will see the folly of placing any confidence in the arm of flesh. They will recognize that Almighty Power is vested in the Creator alone, and will be forced to acknowledge the authority of God and His Son.
Among those humbled by disaster and defeat will be the Jewish people. The destruction wrought by the Russian invasion will destroy much that has been established in the Holy Land. It will bring home to the Israelis the fallacy of placing confidence in the arm of flesh, and will cause them to turn as humble suppliants to the God whom they have neglected for so long (Zechariah 13:8-9), and to His Son, the Lord Jesus, their divinely appointed King, whom their forefathers crucified. They shall 'look on him whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn" because of the miseries that have come upon them through their past blindness (Zechariah 12:10). Having been humbled and disciplined by trouble, they will be educated in divine principles, and restored to their position of favor before God, as in the days of old (Amos 9:11).
Jerusalem will become the Metropolis of Christ's reign; it shall be called "the throne of the Lord" (Jeremiah 3:17). The city of his humiliation where, 1900 years ago, the people shouted "crucify him! crucify him!" will become the center of his glory, the scene of his triumph, and will re-echo with anthems of praise to his honor. To it all nations will be gathered - not for war, but for peace, to worship in righteousness before the King of all the earth (Zechariah 14:16).
What This Means To You!
Thus out of the storm clouds of trouble and war a bright future will unfold for the earth. Russia's bid for World domination will fail, for it is the purpose of God to set up a kingdom "which will never be destroyed," and which shall "break in pieces" those nations that oppose it, incorporating them in its rule (Daniel 2:44).
During Christ's millennial reign, his subjects (the people of all nations, both Jew and Gentile) will remain mortal (Isaiah 65:20), but his associates, those who have lived in accordance with his teaching, will be granted immortality (Romans 2:6-8). At the end of his 1,000 years reign, those of his subjects who are deemed worthy will also be given immortality through another resurrection (Revelation 20:12-15). Thus the "last enemy to be destroyed" will be death (1 Corinthians 15:25-26), and a glorified earth and kingdom will be delivered unto God, that He might be "all in all" (1 Corinthians 15:28).
Thus Daniel was told:
"The kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him" (Daniel 7:27).
In Revelation 5:9-10, the redeemed are represented as singing their future song of triumph:
"Thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people and nation; and has made us unto our God kings and priests; and we shall REIGN ON THE EARTH."
To them Christ makes this promise:
"He that overcometh and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations; and he shall rule them with a rod of iron" (Revelation 2:26-27).
These facts of Bible teaching provide a wonderful source of hope and comfort for the future. They enable believers to look beyond the fears and problems of today to the glorious consummation of Christ's coming.
Christ is coming! There is no doubt about that! The purpose of God demands it; the signs of the times indicate it; the needs of humanity require it. The question is: Will we witness it? The answer depends on our individual attitude to the Bible. The way of life eternal, in the Kingdom that God will set up on earth, is revealed unto therein. Christ declared: "Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you peace" He told his disciples: "Go into all the world and preach the Gospel, he that believeth and is baptized shall be saved" (Mark 16:16). A glorious future awaits those who are prepared to accept that invitation. Why not do so yourself. Why not search into these matters? It costs you nothing to do so; it can provide you with the means of attaining unto life eternal in the kingdom of God.