Rumors of War
Before leaving this world nearly 2000 years ago, Jesus described in very grave detail to his disciples some of the signs of the last days. One of those signs pertained to a terrible time of devastating warfare that would engulf the entire world in the days just prior to the second coming of Jesus. The Last Days shall culminate with a world war in which all of the nations and kingdoms of this world shall involve themselves in the great complex dilemma regarding the nation of Israel, and the controversial burdensome paradox that the city of Jerusalem presents to the world. So, in essence, when analyzing the details of Bible Prophecy, we as Christians are forewarned that the nearness of Jesus return will emit, not a welcome ceremony from the world, but the climax of the gathering storm-clouds of universal war. The world hated Jesus when he was here the first time, and the portent of his second advent will hasten the onslaught of world war, instigated by a Satan-deceived world to oppose and fight against the Lion of the tribe of Judah. That is the reason that the term "Armageddon" evokes terror and fear in the hearts of mankind. Armageddon has become the universal buzzword for the cataclysmic devastation that would be brought upon mankind, should a full-scale nuclear war actually materialize from out of the midst of all the various rumors of war that are rampant in today's world. Jesus concluded in Matthew 24:21-22 that in the days prior to his return, that the nations of our world would be attempting to balance themselves on just the type of cataclysmic precipice that engulfs the world today regarding the rumors of nuclear, or biological-chemical warfare. Weapons of mass destruction give mankind plenty of reason to tremble in fear, because of their awesome consequences. A video replay of the vast nuclear mushrooming cloud of a detonated atomic bomb causes mankind to sense deep down within his own psyche that he is confronted with a power that he cannot politically harness forever. Military digests and Intelligence agencies, the world over keep a constant running trail in pursuit of the rumor or war, and the capacity of those rumored
to be capable of presenting such threats. It presents a perplexing dilemma for the nations, and it induces a great deal of stress on an international level.
In Matthew 24:6-9, Jesus said: And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows. Then shall they deliver you ( Israel ) up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my ( Jesus ) name's sake.
Jesus gave us a highly detailed prophetic paradigm in these verses that certainly seems to engulf the entire era of the Church Age. ( For more details on these prophetic patterns, see Israel: Travail and Tribulation ) His forewarnings were directed immediately to his fellow associates, and their contemporaries, each being members of the first century generation of the nation of Israel. Secondly, it was directed towards all the generations succeeding thereafter during the span of the Church Age, and finally, and perhaps most importantly, it was also a message that was directed especially for the Last Days generation of Christian's and Jews alike. He concluded in Matthew 24:34 by commenting that that particular generation would in fact witness the culmination of all of the events pertaining to the second coming.
His commentary regarding war, with nation rising against nation, and kingdom against kingdom speaks pointedly to the fact that mankind has always been besieged by the curse of war. Added to that mix however is the clear indication from the totality of the prophetic word, is the fact that man's history upon this planet shall climax with a gigantic war of cosmic proportions, involving all the supernatural forces of the heavens. Revelation chapter 12:7-9 vividly depicts the gravity of the final war. But, beyond the obvious resulting plague of warfare, Jesus alluded to a phenomenon that might best be associated with the psychology of war. He called it the "Rumor of War", or the Commotion of war.
For decades now, the generations of our time have indeed been witnessing all of the signs of the times spoken of by Jesus. But perhaps more than any other sign taking place today, conflict and strife between nations and kingdoms has afflicted our world in an ever increasing exponential fashion, and on an unprecedented scale. Military analysts have calculated that there were more wars fought between the years 1900 and 2000 than in all of the previous history of mankind. Wars have always been are a fact of history, but the twentieth century could accurately be labeled as man's "Century of Warfare". At the outset of the 20th century, sociologists believed that the new century would bring an end to warfare, and a new era of peace and harmony would ensue based upon the prospects of a burgeoning economic boom produced from the modern marvels of science, technology, and the Industrial Revolution. World War I was often referred to as, "The War to end all Wars". But, of course the years following 1918 produced more wars than had been fought on this earth collectively from the time of Adam all the way to the year 1914. Mankind established the League of Nations in the aftermath of WWI to diminish the likelihood of warfare consuming mankind's dream of a utopian world. But man's quest for world peace seems to multiply his baser instincts for power! The modern diplomatic-political-religious quest for Peace, coupled with the scientific advancement of more and more sophisticated military technologies, have produced a world wide conflict between the
ideological-philosophical elite of differing regions-religions, with each striving to establish a power base to springboard the entire world into a united world system of order. Thus we have witnessed the world-wide competition between the existing national-regional-groupings of Superpowers for the domination of that new system. We seem to
have realized the awesome impact of superpower warfare, and therefore marginalized our
confrontations into regional conflicts, creating a different type of warrior mentality. Wars today are often fought through the media, or through propaganda, and via limited guerrilla engagements, and also through the auspices of world peace-craft institutions.
( UN ) ( The Antichrist will emerge as a peace-crafting genius )
The purported end of the Cold War in 1989 supposedly enabled the world's leadership the historic opportunity to once again attempt to erect a model system of universal order. But, as the Persian Gulf War uniquely demonstrated, many nations in the world, and especially those within the Middle East Region remain a tinderbox that frustrates the final superstructure of the Last Days Empire of the Antichrist. Therefore the rumors of war have exponentially accelerated once again.
I often heard this particular verse utilized in many sermons as a young boy growing up, and attending church. I listened intently as the preachers would elaborate extensively about the seemingly horrendous era of wars that loomed just over the horizon. They seemed to indicate that the coming era of wars would engulf the entire world, and become so severe in their devastation that there seemed to me to be absolutely no hope for the world. But as a young boy, when I heard the phrase, "Rumor of War", I simply couldn't understand what that really meant. What exactly is a rumor of war, and why should the rumor of war be so significant? What constitutes a rumor of war anyway?
And why should the rumor of war be so prophetically important? These questions puzzled me for a long time.
The word rumor by definition means unverified information of uncertain origin, usually spread by word of mouth. The Hebrew word "akoay" is utilized in this prophecy to relate the intended meaning. Its usage infers that the phrase "rumor of war", is defined as something reported, heard, spread by fame, or sensed through the repetition of threats.
How could unverified information be spread about war? I often thought that the rumor of war phrase was just referring to news about wars being fought in foreign places that really didn't seem to affect me. Somehow the report of war in a far off distant land just seems like a mere rumor, or hearsay, or something that is not really happening. But in reality, if an actual war is being fought somewhere, how can it simply be categorized as a rumor?
The decades following World War II exposed the world to a new kind of warfare. The worlds two preeminent military superpowers, the United States ( West ) and the Soviet Union ( East ) competed against one another in every arena around the world. It was called a "Cold War". It was a war of differing philosophies and government, in which the two sides avoided confronting each other directly, but fought proxy wars through third parties. The nuclear capabilities of each nation, and the concept of mutually assured destruction, ( MAD ) served to maintain a constant threat, and to keep the persistent rumor of war between the two always alive. The constant threat of a hot war breaking out
between these two military giants fueled the rumor mill of a potentially fearsome war of unparalleled destruction. It has been estimated by nuclear military strategists that the nuclear powers in the world have a sufficient stockpile of nuclear weaponry to destroy the entire world many times over. This mere reality keeps mankind exposed to the potential of self-annihilation, and therefore the constant worrisome dilemma of arms control.
The Apostle Luke used a different wording to convey the intended message of Jesus in this passage. Luke 21:9-10 But when ye shall hear of wars and commotions, be not terrified: for these things must first come to pass; but the end is not by and by. Then said he unto them, Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom:
The Greek word for commotions, "akatastasia" is used by Luke. It means instability, confusion, tumult, or things pertaining to reports of events tending to lead ultimately to catastrophic events. Luke seems to be indicating that beyond the historic human recourse of open warfare that routinely arises between nations, the Last Days would witness a new phenomenon concerning mans propensity and capacity for war-making. Jesus specifically makes it a point to advise his followers to not be terrified, nor troubled, for these things must come to pass before the time arrives for the return of Jesus to this world.
Luke 21:25-26 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.
Luke and Matthew are informing us that the rumors of war, and the commotions stirred up by the reported prospect for war during the Last Days will cause extreme anxiety inside of the heart of natural man, causing him to faint, ( be subject to heart failure ) because of the mere mental imagery induced by the stresses and strains from dealing with the modern international capacities for war-making. The nations around the world today spend an overwhelming portion of their national budgets on national and regional defense. It has indeed become a reality that nations today are distressed with a perplexity that seems to defy any possible solution. The National Security of every nation is constantly threatened by the persistent presence, and the ever-growing arsenal of technologically offensive weapons systems being deployed by more and more nations. The business of war production via the international military industrial complexes is the most profitable venture for producers of goods today. Furthermore, as it historically always has been, warfare offers immense profits for the merchants and financiers of international intrigue. ( see Revelation 18 )
But Luke added something important for the nation of Israel, some advice to sustain her through the terrible onslaught of the era of Jacob's Trouble that lies suspended out ahead of her, after the Rapture of the Church. He included in his remarks immediately after informing Christians about the prospect of war, and the continual rumors of war, a particular word of encouragement for Israel herself. "Be not be terrified". Matthew concludes with the encouraging words, "see that ye be not troubled". These statements of hope are relative for both Israel, and the Church, in today's climactic days of end time Bible prophecy, but in this particular contextual setting, they are intended to be an exhortation of hope directly for the nation of Israel. Ultimately, Israel will find herself subjected to the venomous onslaught of the Great Red Dragon and his Antichrist during the Great Tribulation. Thus, while the Church has the Blessed Hope of Rapture to anticipate in the Last Days, the nation of Israel has no such hope, and therefore that is the reason that Jesus urged Israel to not be terrified, as though it were without hope. Jesus will return to rescue Israel, but only after the events described in Luke 24:21 and in Zechariah 14 and Joel 3.
Terrorism is the latest methodology of conventional warfare stratagems. In our modern world with all of its insecurity, and the prevailing environment of military sophistication, terrorism has become the underdog's strategy of madness to gain diplomatic superiority. The utilization of terror as a means to exact compensations or diplomatic satisfaction serves as the mechanism that could escalate a contentious confrontation into a war of immense dimension. The acts of terror always lend themselves to the threat of escalation, and therefore to the repetitious threats of war if the threatened party does not submit. Rumors of War! Submit or else there will be war. This is precisely the scenario that Jesus was alluding to in his discourse to Israel. It seems to me in light of this human madness that Jesus specific exhortation unto Israel to resist from being terrified literally screams that Israel would indeed be subjected to terrorist threats, amidst the accompanying rumor of war in the Last Days.
In today's complicated world, the search for a pathway to Peace can be very elusive.
Diplomats from every region are scurrying all around the world in search of a formula that will launch the varying competitors, or potential combatants upon a process that will culminate into a guaranteed arrangement for peace. Such has been the case with the Middle East Peace Process.
Throughout the Middle East Peace Process, Israel and the Palestinians have been prodded and coerced into negotiating a conflict resolution by the world's major powers. However, at every step along the way, the utilization of terrorism, coupled together with the threats of war, and the constant banter about rumors of impending war has been the weapons of choice that have been utilized by Yasser Arafat and the various Islamic terrorist infrastructures. Israel has been continually criticized for its reactions to the terrorist attacks. Arab leaders condemn each Israeli retaliatory response, and routinely warn the rest of the nations of the world that the Middle East will descend into a holocaust of warfare, unless Israel is coerced back to the bargaining table and offer more and more concessions.
So, now it is easy to see how the mere "rumor of war" can be utilized to threaten ones enemy and, and therewith scheme and manage the sadistic tools of terror as a means of leverage for diplomatic blackmail. Never before in the long drama of human conflict has the mere rumor of war been such a terror in the mind of the nations. The world greatly fears the prospect of all-out nuclear war that can engulf the entire planet in a heartbeat.
Armageddon is possible in today's world. Therefore the rumors pertaining to war must be
taken very seriously.
Ah, Armageddon! How that word stirs up apprehension and terror in the heart of man! But God has already revealed to us that man is only evil in his heart, and that Armageddon looms on his natural horizon. And it all surrounds the subject of Israel, and the city of Jerusalem!
Yes…..the rumor of war is serious business! It has been rumored for thousands of years that the Lord shall gather all nations in the valley of decision, on the day that the Lord will fight on the great day of battle. The battle of Armageddon is being referred to in these passages. Only in recent decades has Armageddon been humanly viable from a militaristic capability. To avert the awful consequences of Armageddon, mankind must expend every effort to avert the threat of non-conventional warfare, and resolve every rumor of war!
Remember; Jesus said: "Ye shall hear of wars, and "rumors of wars":
Hab 1:2-3 O LORD, how long shall I cry, and thou wilt not hear! even cry out unto thee of violence, and thou wilt not save! Why dost thou shew me iniquity, and cause me to behold grievance? for spoiling and violence are before me: and there are that raise up strife and contention.
Jeremiah 4:19 My bowels, my bowels! I am pained at my very heart; my heart maketh a noise in me; I cannot hold my peace, because thou hast heard, O my soul, the sound of the trumpet, the alarm of war.
2 Pet 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.
Joel 3:9-17 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 pruninghooks 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 is full, the fats overflow; for their wickedness is great. Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision. The sun and the moon shall be darkened, and the stars shall withdraw their shining. 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. So shall ye know that I am the LORD your God dwelling in Zion, my holy mountain: then shall Jerusalem be holy, and there shall no strangers pass through her any more.
THE PROPHECY OF THE LORD'S COMING IS NO RUMOR!