By Irvin Baxter
[T]he prophecy hits you in the face like a ton of bricks! “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.” (Revelation 9:15)
My first reaction was…that can’t really be what the prophecy says! To slay the third part of men? That would be two billion people dead! Surely not!
I checked the Greek. Sure enough…one-third of mankind. I checked several other translations-one-third of the human race; one-third of all the people on earth; one-third of humanity. They all said the same thing! A WAR IS JUST AHEAD THAT WILL KILL TWO BILLION HUMAN BEINGS!
So that we can understand the enormity of this prophecy, consider that, prior to the 20th century, there had never been a war with one million fatalities. In 1914, World War I broke out resulting in the death of 8.2 million human beings! They called it The Great War! Some said it would be the war to end all wars. But it wasn’t.
Twenty short years later, the world was plunged into World War II. This time there were not 8.2 million killed.
This time-52 million! It was as though something had come unhinged within the human soul! Six thousand years of recorded human history and not one war with 1 million fatalities. Then, within 20 years of each other, two wars had claimed 8.2 million and 52 million lives. Even more ominous were the two mushroom clouds that towered over Hiroshima and Nagasaki as World War II came to its apocalyptic conclusion.
Fear around the globe was palpable. What would the next war produce…with these new weapons of mass destruction filling the arsenals of the world’s nations? World leaders just refused to think the unthinkable. But it was frighteningly obvious that mankind now possessed the power to wipe all life off the face of the planet-many times over.
In a desperate attempt to insure that World War III would never happen, the nations of the world decided to create an organization designed to prevent war. They called it the United Nations. Though many small wars have raged around the globe since 1945, so far this new system of global governance has contributed to avoiding the nightmare scenario of World War III. All of us hope that the tenuous peace that has largely prevailed will hold. But will it? No!
The prophecy is crystal clear. World War III is coming! This time, there won’t be 8.2 million dead. There won’t be 52 million dead. This time 2 billion human beings will be annihilated from the face of the earth! We are talking about 40 times the fatalities of World War II! It’s almost impossible to comprehend, but it is going to happen. The only question is: “When?”
According to Revelation 9:14, the prophesied war will originate from the area of the Euphrates River. The Euphrates River is located in Iraq, Turkey, Syria, and Iran. Since fighting is raging along the Euphrates today, we have to ask if the Sixth Trumpet War might already have begun.
A war that kills two billion people will obviously be a World War, making it World War III. James Woolsey, CIA Director during the Clinton administration, says that World War III began on 9/11. Thomas Friedman of the New York Times agrees with him. Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich also believes that World War III started on 9/11. Finally, President Bush has added his voice to those who contend we are now in WW III. On May 6, 2006, he stated that the revolt of passengers on Flight 93 was, “The first counter-attack of World War III.”
The Sixth Trumpet War must occur before the beginning of the great tribulation. The great tribulation is that three and one-half year period that will immediately precede the Battle of Armageddon. How do we know the Euphrates River War must happen before the great tribulation begins?
This prophesied war occurs in Revelation 9:13-21. Right after this in Revelation 10, the beginning of the great tribulation is recorded. In verse 5, an angel stands with one foot on the land and one foot on the water declaring that delay shall be no longer. Right after this, Revelation 11 describes the events of the final three and one-half years preceding the Battle of Armageddon. In Revelation 11:2, we are told that Jerusalem will be trodden down of the Gentiles for the next 42 months (3 ½ years). Then in Revelation 11:3, God’s two witnesses begin their ministries, which continue for the next 1260 days (3 ½ years) until the end of the tribulation period.
At the end of Revelation 11, the two witnesses are killed, the last trumpet sounds, and the Battle of Armageddon takes place. It is at this time that Jesus Christ returns to earth to reign as King of kings and Lord of lords.
This same sequence of events is recorded in Daniel 12:1-7. An angel stands upon the waters and declares that there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that time, referring to the great tribulation. One asked the angel how long it would be until all this was over. He answered, “Until a time, times, and an half” (3 ½ years).
Both of these accounts describe an angel declaring the beginning of a time of great tribulation, which will last for three and one-half years.
According to the biblical prophetic timeline given in scripture, four major prophetic fulfillments will occur at approximately the same time.
If we can demonstrate that all four of these prophetic developments are occurring right now, then it becomes obvious that the time for the Euphrates River War has arrived! Please walk through the prophecies with me.
Daniel 9:27 prophesies that the world community and the leader of the world community, the Antichrist,will confirm the Abrahamic covenant with many for seven years. The Abrahamic covenant is the promise God made to Abraham that the Promised Land would be given to his descendants. The passage is Genesis 15:18,
“In the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates:”
This confirmation of the covenant will confirm Israel’s right to exist in the Holy Land and will mark the beginning of the final seven years to Armageddon. Halfway through the final seven years, the Antichrist will order the stopping of animal sacrifices on the Temple Mount, which will have been resumed by then. He will then stand in the temple claiming to be God. This could mean he will claim to be the ultimate authority over the Temple Mount since it will have been placed under international supervision by then.
We have two specific prophecies that describe a temple standing on the Temple Mount three and one-half years before Armageddon. II Thessalonians 2:3-4 states that the man of sin, the Antichrist, will sit in the temple of God, claiming to be God. This is the event known as the abomination of desolation, which occurs three and one-half years before Armageddon. It’s obvious that the Antichrist cannot sit in a temple if there isn’t one. Revelation 11:1-2 describes the measuring of a temple on the Temple Mount 42 months before Armageddon and the Second Coming. Of course, a temple couldn’t possibly be measured if none existed.
Since both of these prophecies foretell that a temple will exist three and one-half years before Armageddon, we know for certain that the temple has to be built prior to this time.
Preparations for the mark of the beast must take place in the first three and one-half years of the final seven, since the mark will be implemented during the reign of the Antichrist, which takes place during the last three and a half years. The prophecy states:
“And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.” Revelation 13:16-17
Economic sanctions are the favorite tool of the United Nations against those states that will not submit to the edicts of the world community. When sanctions are levied against a nation the member nations of the UN agree to not trade with that nation. The goal is to create such economic pressure that the offending nation will submit to the will of the world government structure.
This same practice of sanctions will be used by the world government during the great tribulation. However, it will not only be used against nations, but also against individuals.
The Antichrist will control the people of the world during the great tribulation by forcing every person on earth to worship him (pledge allegiance to him). Those who do will be given a mark or a number permitting them to participate in the economy of the world. Those who refuse will be sanctioned economically by denying them the “privilege” of buying and selling. Only since the invention of the computer and the birth of the Internet has such a system of worldwide economic control been possible. (Learn More).
The fourth prophecy that will be fulfilled just before the final three and one-half years begins is the Euphrates River War. Obviously, this prophecy does not even require discussion. The fact that it is in process of fulfillment at this moment is self-evident. The Euphrates originates in Turkey then flows through Syria and Iraq and joins the Tigris near the tip of Iran. Is the military activity along the Euphrates a coincidence, or does this have meaning for us?. (Learn More).
Since all four of these prophetic fulfillments are in progress right now, it appears certain that the present Euphrates River War is the Euphrates River War of Revelation 9:13-21. If this is true, then we know that two billion people will die before this war comes to its culmination.