War and Peace - Pete Garcia - http://www.omegaletter.com/articles/articles.asp?ArticleID=7981
Not a trace of trench left…One can see nothing for the smoke, fire, and spurting earth. We sink down, dazed, upon the tortured earth. A new day breaks, more horrible than the last…Men die of mud, as they die from bullets, but more horribly. Mud is where men sink and-what is worse-where their soul sinks. Mud hides the stripes of rank, there are only poor suffering beasts. Hell is not fire…hell is mud.
I came across this quote from an unknown soldier, at the World War I museum in Kansas City awhile back. It is a very powerful, yet disturbing depiction of what real war is. I know the US has been at “war” for the last 13 years or so, but to me, this isn’t war. It’s tough love nation building. Real war, is total war…in the most Clausewitzian sense of the word. It is where one side tries to totally annihilate the other side…by any means necessary.
The History Channel capitalized on the 100th anniversary of WWI, by showing grainy black and white film clip montages from that era. One thing that always intrigued me, was the war footage showing the disheveled masses, slogging along a dirt road away from their smoldering homes and villages. Families, often wearing the only clothes they had, carried everything they could salvage from their homes in luggage or on small wagons. Children walking, not sure what had happened, and the elderly, with the look of shock and disbelief in their eyes. Hope departs, and the brutality of the reality of war, sets in. I wonder, at the outset, did they ever think in a million years, that that’s where they would end up?
For when we think of World War I, we think of nations ignorantly marching into war with the preconceived notions of weeks, rather than years. We think of trench and chemical warfare. We think of mud and barbwire. WWI really then was a watershed event for the world as it became the first war to use tanks and airplanes. The world transitioned from fancifully-dressed uniformed men, marching in line across a battlefields against the enemy…to dirt-soaked, shivering men, hiding in trenches. It went from horse and saber, to tanks and machine guns. It went from cannonballs, to mustard gas. It upped the ante if you will, to the depths of the depravity a nation would go to, to wage war. It went from chivalrous, to horrifying. And to add insult to injury, the ‘War to End All Wars’ (WWI), only set the stage for an even greater war, World War II.
Having lived through the past 13 years of the War on Terror, one is amazed at how liberal pundits and politicians try to equate our most recent engagements as somehow worse, than those great wars of the past. Even at the very the height of the Iraqi and Afghani insurgencies, they simply could not compare in the sheer volume of US deaths that occurred in the previous four 20th century engagements.
Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?” And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows. Matthew 24:3-8
In context, the phrase beginning of sorrows, is one that is associated in biblical terms, with that of the birth pangs associated with pregnancy. (Isaiah 13:8, 26:16-18, 66:7-16; 1 Thess. 5:3) It’s not simply that there would be wars and rumors of war, because we’ve always had them throughout human history. As so it is with pregnancy, these signs would increase in both size, intensity, and frequency as the end of the age draws nearer. Certainly, if the 20th Century could yield up globally catastrophic events such as WWI and WWII, the 21st Century is destined to be even bloodier and more violent.
So if we’ve seen the escalation in the past century, of which the 20th century beat the previous twenty centuries combined, in total deaths attributed to war, then the 21st has to beat all that the 20th could offer up. And the new century and the new millennium, offered up as a sacrifice in the first year, September 11th, 2001. The beginning of the 20th century encompassed unbridled nationalism. The beginning of the 21st century, marked a war against unbridled ideology. And although Islam is a religion of violence, it still manages to encompass a global population of around 1 billion adherents. Since the U.S. has an all-volunteer force (of around 1% of the US population), the impacts have not been as wide felt as the previous engagements, when the Draft was in effect. The only way that the US can maintain an effective all-volunteer force, is to make the incentives worth the investment.
But the US in finally coming to the realization, that it cannot print its way out of 18 Trillion dollars’ worth of debt, neither can it afford to keep its promise to pay the 100 Trillion dollars in unfunded liabilities (future payments for retirement, social security, welfare, etc.) to those who have spent a lifetime paying into the system. It is not a stretch to see the US bringing back the draft to cover those leaving the service, and reduce the incentives (as it’s already doing) to its Armed Forces, in order to meet the ever increasing threats to the world today. The reasons the numbers are so low for US casualties in over 13 years of war, is that our Soldiers today, have the best training and the best equipment money can buy. Survival rates in this war, far exceed any of the previous. All that to say this, the US way of war is not sustainable without a robust economy, and we are in the process of scaling back our capabilities, to remain the greatest fighting force on the planet. And in our absence, others will step forward to fill that gap…whether it is militant Islamists, or the Chinese. Nature hates a vacuum, and if the US isn’t number one, someone will fight to fill that spot. What is worse, is that the 21st century potential for Total War (with advanced technology and a higher density global population) could easily trump anything the prior century could do on its worst day. The weapons of WWI, WWII, Korea, and even Vietnam were rather rudimentary in comparison to today’s arsenal.
When He opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature saying, “Come and see.” Another horse, fiery red, went out. And it was granted to the one who sat on it to take peace from the earth, and that people should kill one another; and there was given to him a great sword. Revelation 6:3-4
In Revelation Chapter five, Jesus Christ is revealed in the throne room of God as the “a Lamb, as though it had been slain”. It is Christ who takes the Sealed Judgments from the right hand of God, and opens them. The first Seal unleashes the Rider on the White Horse. This man represents the final world dictator who will have the full backing of Satan. (Luke 4:5-6) We have seen this before, in where a man rises out of obscurity, and amasses great power…for a season. This in part, is because Satan doesn’t know when the Rapture of the Church will occur, so he must have a man waiting in the wings at all times.
We see these leaders rise, and then after a certain point, they began to make one seemingly disastrous mistake after another. The two most recent examples in terms of attempts at world domination, were Napoleon and Hitler. They were successful for a season, but then, Napoleon had his Waterloo. Hitler invaded Russia, instead of finishing off Great Britain and thus opened himself up to a two-front war. After their brief rise to power, it is as if Satan realizes that his timing is off, and completely abandon’s these men to their own devices. This will not be the case with Antichrist. After his release, the Second Seal is opened, and war, on a global scale happens. What is not known, is whether his revealing leads to global war, or he simply takes advantage of the global situation already in motion.
Following the red horse, comes the natural aftermath of global war, which is famine, pestilence, economic disparity, and death. In these four Seal Judgments, a quarter (or 1.75 out of 7 billion) of the world’s population dies. The only ones who will be able to make it through comfortably, are those with the real wealth who have the means to weather these things. It was reported recently, that around 1% of the population, controls over 50% of the world’s wealth. So it is that the vast populations that were left behind at the event known as the Rapture, will be forced into a global economic system due to absolute necessity. The economic system, known by the manner in which it is implemented and enforced (Rev. 13:15-16), first requires the end-user to swear loyalty and/or worship the image of the beast. Regardless, this act dooms the participant to eternal separation from God. Something in the system itself either alters mankind’s genetic makeup, or in the act of worship, seals the mind if you will, from ever coming to the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Man, in his fallen state, is incapable of bringing global peace for any longer than a moment, simply because it is in the natural man’s nature to steal, kill, and destroy. This is because those who are not born again, remain in an unregenerate state, who’s knowingly, or unknowingly allegiance lies with Satan. (Luke 11:23; John 8:43-45; 2 Cor. 4:4). Man’s elusive search for ‘peace on earth’, will not find its fulfillment in or by any human endeavor. Nations will not ‘beat their swords into plowshares’ until Christ Himself brings the Kingdom. Daniel chapters two and seven, illustrate man’s view of kingdoms (beautiful, multi-metallic statue), versus God’s view of man’s kingdoms (as ferocious beasts). Interestingly, the multi-metallic statue is destroyed by a rock ‘cut without human hands’. The image of the statue, which is symbolic of real kingdoms, is not gradually chipped away at…it is destroyed all at once, in a single moment of time. (Dan. 2:44-45)
So when Christ comes, and the saints with Him, all power, dominion, and authority will be given to Him by the Father. And we too will sing a new song, because we shall finally be, in our glorified state, people of whom the Beatitudes speak of. In Revelation 5:9-10, we shall sing a new song to our God and Savior, Jesus Christ, saying…
“You are worthy to take the scroll,
And to open its seals;
For You were slain,
And have redeemed us to God by Your blood
Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation,
And have made us kings and priests to our God;
And we shall reign on the earth.”
Even so, Maranatha!