Does the Bible prophesy the use of nuclear weapons in the end times?
On Sunday, January 6, 2013, at the Future Congress 2 Conference in Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas, I was interviewed by host Brian Thomas of Blessings to Israel Ministries on the Rapture Ready Radio Network before a live studio audience. During the 45-minute interview we discussed how the technology that we have today is proof positive that we are living in the end times and so can be expecting the soon return of Jesus Christ.
Sign of Nuclear Weapons
Brian Thomas: Let’s talk about nuclear weapons. I know there are theories that nuclear weapons are prophesied in Scripture. Revelation speaks of a third of the earth being burned during the Tribulation. Do you think nuclear weapons could be one of the means by which that could happen? Or, do you think the destruction is going to be caused by some other phenomenon such as supernatural?
Nathan Jones: Since the 1940’s, humanity has only dropped two atomic bombs — the ones on Hiroshima and Nagasaki during World War II. And yet, what people don’t realize is that was just during war time, for since WWII there has been over 2,500 nuclear detonations tested on this planet. Nine countries over the last 70 years have been testing nuclear weapons. There’s also a tremendous stockpile of nuclear weapons built up all around the world.
Most people who grew up during the Cold War were terrified of getting nuked. I remember as a kid we used to have nuclear bomb drills at school, as if for some reason if you went out into the hall and put your head between your legs you were safe from a nuclear bomb! I still don’t quite get that. But, we use to have those drills. Now our kids don’t seem to worry about getting nuked, even though there’s still a massive nuclear stockpile. Then there are madmen like in North Korea and now in Iran trying to get nuclear weapons. The Soviet Union might have fallen, but the nuclear threat has never gone away.
There is no doubt in my mind that God has been holding back the release of nuclear weapons. We’ve got thousands and thousands of nuclear weapons all pointed at each other around the world, and it’s gotten easier and easier for crazy people to get them, even simpler ones like dirty bombs. We’ve got madmen trying to build them, and amazingly the world isn’t doing anything substantial about it. God has been holding these weapons back until the time is right, and that is for during the Tribulation.
When we go to the Bible and read about certain end times events, some of them clearly sound nuclear in nature. Take for instance the destruction of Damascus in Isaiah 17:14 which goes, “In the evening sudden terror. Before the morning they are gone.” Isaiah prophesies that one day the oldest city in the world — Damascus — will be destroyed in one day, and we know from Isaiah 17:9 that it will be because of Israel, a nuclear armed country. Well, how do you destroy an entire city in just one day? Nuclear weapon! There really isn’t any other weapon out there that could annihilate a city so quickly.
Another possible reference to the use of nuclear weapons in the end times is take for instance Zechariah 14:12 which reads, “This is the plague in which the Lord will strike all the nations that fought against Jerusalem.” This is in reference to Armageddon, where we’re also told, “Their flesh will rot while they are standing on their feet. Their eyes will rot in their sockets and their tongues will rot in their mouth.” This is why in Luke 21:26 Jesus said, “Men will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world. The heavenly bodies will be shaken.”
Another possibility, let’s also take a look at the Sixth Seal Judgment in Revelation 6:14-15, “The sky receded like a scroll, rolling up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place. Then the kings of the earth, the princes, the generals, the rich, the mighty, and every slave and every free man hid in caves and among the rocks of the mountains.” Certainly, that disaster could be supernatural in origin, but each of these disasters was explained by a First Century man, John, explaining what he was seeing. And, all of these disasters are described as exactly what nuclear weapons would do.
For the Antichrist to wipe out 1.5 billion people at the beginning at the Tribulation merely from conventional war, he wouldn’t need a lot of people with guns as nuclear weapons would do the job very quickly. There isn’t that much time to kill all those people with a conventional war.
I could read other verses that hint at nuclear warfare, as Revelation is ripe with verses which talk about the annihilation of the planet and the resulting effects that sound very nuclear radiation in origin. As a matter of fact, when you look at the people by the end of the Tribulation, they are covered in sores and boils, which is very much like radiation contamination. Also, the Earth’s ecosystem is almost all destroyed, which couldn’t be from conventional war, but would have to be from nuclear war along with whatever natural God sends like asteroids and whatnot.
We are told in 2 Thessalonians 2:3-7 that when the Church is removed so is the Restrainer. The Holy Spirit’s work through the Church will be raptured out of this world so that man’s inhibition can be let loose. The restraint against mankind using nuclear warfare will no longer be there anymore, so man will feel free to use them. The world is facing a very definite nuclear holocaust.
Brian Thomas: In Revelation 6:14-15 that you shared, to me that passage seems like the best Scripture describing nuclear warfare. With the sky receding like a scroll, that sounds like a mushroom cloud. Amazing things are going to take place during the Tribulation, and that I believe includes nuclear warfare.
In the eighth part of this series on the biblical signs of technology which prove we’re near to Jesus’ return, we’ll look at the Bible’s next tech signs — the Sign of Space Science and the Sign of Technology’s Limits.