All directions in God’s Word to humanity–the Bible–point outward from God’s touchstone city to the human race. That is, Jerusalem is the topographical center of the world from God’s Holy perspective.
Therefore, north, south, east, and west, in terms of Bible prophecy, can be determined by considering that all-important city as the starting point.
We will look in this commentary at the kings of the east prophecy. That prophesied group of potentates, then, must be viewed as if we are standing, perhaps, on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem and looking eastward. This is how we can know that the kings of the east referred to in prophecy yet future are those kings or national entities of China and the Orient in general.
Here are the nucleus scriptural references to the kings of the east prophecy:
And the sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God, Saying to the sixth angel which had the trumpet, Loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates. And the four angels were loosed, which were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, for to slay the third part of men. And the number of the army of the horsemen were two hundred thousand thousand: and I heard the number of them. (Revelation 9:13-16)
And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared. (Revelation 16:12)
We note with interest that the Euphrates River seems to be the boundary dividing the Occidental world from the Oriental. God tells through prophecy that this boundary harbors some powerful and tremendously evil demonic actors that are incarcerated until time for the prophesied invasion from that Oriental world. As a matter of fact, these are so powerful that they will imbue this force of two hundred thousand-member military with the capability of killing one-third of the people of the world.
I’m aware that there is a train of thought that puts forth that one-third of a specific number of combatants who are to die in the overall campaign of Armageddon will be killed by this force from the Orient. To me it reads that one-third of those living on the planet will be killed.
That there are supernatural elements involved within this murderous capability cannot be denied. It is reasonable to presume, I believe, however, that nuclear weaponry might be employed in accomplishing that grisly task.
The prophecy concerning the kings of the east becomes particularly fascinating, I think, when looking at geopolitical military rearrangements taking place today.
To preface these considerations, I urge us to remember that the demonic minions that will be the catalyst to galvanize the destructive kings of the east force are presently under God’s restraining power. These evil entities are held back until a particular “hour, and a day.” There is a specific moment when they will be unleashed to cause the two hundred million-man force to kill one-third of everyone living on the planet.
I have always considered it a point of fascination that since the atomic attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan, in 1945, there hasn’t been a single incident of a nuclear weapon discharged in any sort of military conflict. There have been nuclear tests of every sort, above ground and below. But, not a single nuclear warhead of any sort has been fired as part of military action.
My friends, this lack of employing nuclear weaponry has taken far more than diplomacy, human fear, in trepidation, or whatsoever else. This has been the obvious, restraining hand of the God of Heaven. Just like in the case of the evil angels being restrained somewhere beneath the Euphrates, the nuclear, war-making genie has been kept in the bottle marked “For Tribulation Only.”
As a matter of fact, the nuclear factor has been used, I’m convinced, by the Lord Himself, to prevent man from self-destruction. If nuclear weapons were not at the ready at every moment of every day, the human race might have long ago ended most if not all life on earth with conventional weapons only slightly less horrific. Man has–some would surmise–retained the common-sensibility, at least to this point, to refrain from all-out war, since those two, small-by-comparison nuclear bombs that ended World War II.
North Korea forges ahead with production of nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them to far-distant points. This, despite a president who has vowed that such development will not be allowed to be brought to the point the NK weapons can be used against the United States. There seems shaping a showdown of monumental magnitude at some point soon.
Yet, as many who read these commentaries know, I’m convinced there will be no earth-shattering event such as nuclear war take place until the Rapture has occurred. I’m convinced that Jesus’ words in the days of Noah and days of Lot prophecy in Matthew 24:36-42 and Luke 17:26-30 indicate it will be business as usual–even better than usual–right up until He next “reveals” Himself to a rebellious world. This will be Rapture, not Second Advent when He will come back to earth to put an end to Armageddon and the threatened, complete destruction of all life on earth.
Meantime, it is an almost certainty in my spirit-mind that there will be no complete disarmament of the nuclear powers. These weapons of mass destruction will doubtless, in my opinion, be used during the Tribulation, as part of judgment and wrath poured upon the evil and rebellion that will be against the God of Heaven.
The North Koreans might be restrained in some fashion from unleashing their nukes on the rest of us for now. They will, however, likely have them at their disposal when they rage across the dried-up Euphrates under demonic influence. China and the rest of the Oriental diabolists will, the prophecy says, kill one-third of people left on the planet at that time. Certainly, nuclear weaponry could accomplish fulfillment of that prophecy.
It is interesting to think on the fact that there seems to be no nuclear weaponry used on Israel as the Gog-Magog forces descend like a cloud to take great spoil. It is a conventional force that makes the assault, apparently. At that point there is either great restraint so they can enjoy the “spoils” they intend to take, or there is restraint on the Gog-Magog forces of some other sort, preventing use of nuclear weaponry. There are those who believe that this is because there has been nuclear disarmament at this juncture, and there are no nuclear weapons available. I do not agree.
God, Himself, will unleash His own form of “nukes” at that time, destroying all but one-sixth of the invading force.
The assault from the kings of the east seems to have no such encumbrances of nuclear restraint. The attack seems to come later than the Gog-Magog attack as the wind-up of the campaign of Armageddon looms.
One thing is sure in my view of these matters. We are witnessing things shaping for prophetic fulfillment in the arena of the kings of the east in regard to the nuclear factor.