Some observers of these troubled times say World War III has already begun. I’m not so sure I disagree with the premise. Dynamics for the roots of war are more prolific and far more volatile at present than those that generated both World War I and World War II.
Times preceding World War I constituted basically a tranquil era, relatively speaking, when compared to those leading to World War II. Nonetheless, the seeds of war were there. Political events, spawned by nationalist movements and burgeoning industrialization, finally disrupted the tranquility of the late 1800s. This resulted in growing, bitter rivalries for coveted areas of expansion, both geographic and economic. The assassination of Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand is most often given as the cause for the beginning of World War I. But, it was only the sparking point.
Decades leading up to this infamous incident were fraught with extreme nationalism–people within the various nations of Europe being taught the superiority of their own countries. Also, the people were inculcated with paranoia that the competitor nations presented dangers that, if not defended against, would be harmful to the homeland.
Ferdinand’s murder was but the lighting of the fuse leading to the economic-based powder keg.
World War II began building from the moment hostilities stopped in World War I. The harsh reparations imposed–particularly upon the defeated, humiliated Germans–and the depression that forced Europe and the entire world into an economic abyss brought to the world earth’s most infamous despot to this point in history–at least in my opinion.
Adolf Hitler eventually defied most every war requirement slapped on Germany, building the world’s most powerful military by the late 1930s. He came to full power promising to rebirth respect for the Fatherland, restore monetary stability, and create prosperity.
The point is, both of the world wars had at their genesis severe economic conditions.
Some observers of such things, as I say, therefore proclaim that World War III has already begun. They see as the genesis of this conflict such things as the building economic bubble of world debt that must be constantly manipulated and massaged. To ignore the problems would bring catastrophe in short order, say most economists who will admit truth about the conditions faced by the world at this critical hour.
The fuse for igniting man’s final conflict, so the thinking goes, could be something like what is happening with Russia versus the money powers that be at this moment.
Russian President Vladimir Putin is faced with personal loss of power if Russia’s economic woes continue to spiral downward. Sanctions against Russia for their hostile actions in Ukraine and in other areas under their self-perceived sphere of influence might present reason for the bear to act like…well…a bear.
Adolf Hitler, remember, used military buildup and action to get on the road to starting World War II. This is most often the way of tyrants when faced with backing down, thus losing, their dictatorial position. Remember, also, Saddam Hussein, when his regime was squeezed by the Middle East petroleum powers? He thrust his supposedly elite Republican Guard military force into Kuwait, and when forced to withdraw, began setting the oil wells on fire.
Mr. Putin faces similar such squeezing by Saudi and the Western powers. He could be set to do something quite extraordinary, many observers conjecture.
The thing I hear over and over–particularly from economists in the know (and these are secular economists)–is that it will be one incident or the other that will likely be the catalyst for World War III. The incident in question will pop this building bubble that is unsustainable by all measures of economic sensibility. The cascade of collateral things involved will spark seen and unforeseen calamities, including the next world war, is their dire prediction.
One who understands Bible prophecy to any extent–from the dispensational, premillennial, pretribulation perspective–cannot help but agree with the basic tenets of these economists’ postulations in this instance. Although the secular experts who make the predictions apparently have no biblically prophetic discernment in the matter of predictions for end-times conditions and outcomes, they assuredly have it right in general terms.
There is indeed coming one, specific, incident that can–and I’m still convinced will–bring on catastrophe, as enumerated in Holy Scripture. When Christ shouts “Come up hither!” (Revelation 4:1), the cascade of calamity will begin. It is clearly delineated in the following apocalyptic passage:
And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer. And when he had opened the second seal, I heard the second beast say, Come and see. And there went out another horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword. And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand. And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine. And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see. And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth. (Revelation 6: 2-8)