On Aug. 29, 1949, the Soviet Union successfully detonated its first atomic bomb at a remote experimental site in the Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic (today’s Kazakhstan). This came as a shock to many U.S. officials, who didn’t think the Soviets could develop atomic weapons capability so soon after World War II.
Following that episode and throughout much of the 1950s and 60s, the fear of a Soviet nuclear attack against America and its allies was profound. During that time many experts believed that the immediate danger from a nuclear blast would come as a result of its intense heat and from debris and glass flying through the air. Consequently, civil defense “duck and cover” safety drills were conducted by schools and communities across the United States.
As a pupil in elementary school during that time, I participated in those exercises. My schoolmates and I were taught that if we saw the flash of a nuclear fireball, we should duck down under our desks and cover our heads with our hands. After the shock wave, we were to move immediately to the school’s basement cafeteria, which also served as a fallout shelter for ostensible protection from exposure to nuclear radiation.
Although such civil defense drills are a thing of the past, the threat posed by nuclear weapons remains very real. Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union in December 1991, thousands of nuclear weapons remained in Russia’s possession. Today, besides the United States and Russia, seven other countries possess nuclear arsenals—China, France, India, Israel, the United Kingdom, Pakistan and North Korea.
For decades the greatest danger to America and its allies was Russia, but now North Korea seems to have taken that position due to its unpredictability and open threats to use nukes against the United States. Plus, Iran will almost certainly pose a nuclear peril to the world within several years. To understand this overall problem, let’s examine the sobering security situations these nations present.
Nuclear weapons threat: Russia
Today most Americans think very little about nuclear weapons. However, this powerful, deadly technology matters a great deal to the Russian people and their leaders. Russia relies on its nuclear arsenal as a source of national pride, being one of the last vestiges of its former superpower status. According to the Federation of American Scientists, which calculates nuclear weapon stockpiles, the Russian Federation currently possesses more than 4,300 operational warheads.
Russian President Vladimir Putin is not averse to using his country’s nuclear capability to pressure and threaten his adversaries. For example, to express dissatisfaction with perceived NATO incursions into a portion of Russia’s “neighborhood” (former Soviet bloc countries along its western border in the Baltic Sea region), Putin used his nation’s mobile nuclear missile launchers to project power.
This occurred in October 2016 when he ordered nuclear-capable Iskander ballistic missiles to be placed in Kaliningrad, a Russian province between the NATO states of Poland and Lithuania on the Baltic Sea. Putin’s action prompted an anxious response from those nations and others in the region.
Putin said at the time, “We must take counter-measures, that is, strike with our missile systems the targets that in our opinion begin to threaten us” (quoted by Nicole Stinson, “Vladimir Putin Moves Nuke-Capable Missiles Closer to Europe in Latest Move Against NATO,” Daily Star, Nov. 22, 2016).
Besides its moves in the Baltic region, Russia has flexed its muscles in other ways, such as its annexation of Crimea in 2014, its overt support of Russian-separatist forces in eastern Ukraine beginning that same year, and its military ground and air operational support (beginning in September 2015) of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the Syrian civil war.
U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis declared North Korea’s push to acquire nuclear-armed missiles a “clear and present danger” and an “urgent military threat.”
Russia’s confrontational approach to the United States and its allies has taken an even more troublesome turn with its efforts to develop a new intercontinental ballistic missile system. Putin’s action was in response to perceived threats related to NATO’s missile defense system, which became operational in Europe in July 2016.
Newsweek recently reported: “Russia has for months been testing a giant nuclear weapons delivery system that can carry 10 heavyweight warheads. Russia began testing the Sarmat last year and had been expected to enter it into service in 2018. The Russian weapon was designed to push through U.S. missile defenses. It is expected to replace the RS-36M, which was known as ‘Satan’ by NATO in the 1970s” (Cristina Silva, “Russia’s New ‘Satan’ Nuclear Weapons System Could Wipe Out Texas or France,” March 23, 2017).
In addition, as TIME magazine pointed out, “Moscow has also returned to a habit of nuclear threats, while in its military exercises, it has begun to practice for a nuclear strike, according to the NATO military alliance” (Simon Shuster, “Why Russia Is Rebuilding Its Nuclear Arsenal,” April 4, 2016).
Nuclear weapons threat: North Korea
Another peril facing the United States and its allies comes from North Korea, with its accelerating missile development program and nuclear attack capability. Although it’s the world’s 51st most populous country, North Korea according to some sources fields the earth’s largest army with 1.3 million men under arms, led by “supreme leader” Kim Jong un.
Its armed forces face South Korea’s 625,000 frontline military personnel and 28,000 U.S. troops stationed in South Korea. North Korea is “equipped with 20,000 artillery pieces, 1,000 short- and medium-range missiles, 70 submarines, more than 400 patrol/missile boats and 563 combat aircraft. A strike against [South Korea’s capital] Seoul would be devastating” (Christopher Wallace, “North Korea’s Army: 1.2M Men, Obsolete Equipment and Nukes,” Fox News, April 28, 2017).
Seoul is a city of 10 million people—the most densely populated in the world. And it’s located only 30 miles from the demilitarized zone, the disputed boundary between the two nations.
While a military conflict in that region employing only conventional weapons would be dreadful in terms of loss of life, injury and property damage, the carnage and destruction resulting from a nuclear strike or exchange would be unthinkable. Despite that, considering its belligerent rhetoric and actions, North Korea appears to be preparing for such an eventuality—after having conducted five successful nuclear tests between 2006 and September 2016.
The country’s central news agency Rodong Sinmun declared on May 2, 2017, that the state will launch a devastating strike to “reduce the whole of the U.S. mainland to ruins.” An American expert, highly knowledgeable about the menace posed by electromagnetic pulse (EMP) weapons, suggests this threat should not be taken lightly.
The number of operational plutonium-based nuclear weapons possessed by North Korea is estimated at 10 to 30. “Unless something changes, North Korea’s arsenal may well hit 50 weapons by the end of [President Donald] Trump’s term . American officials say the North already knows how to shrink those weapons so they can fit atop one of its short- to medium-range missiles —putting South Korea and Japan, and the thousands of American troops deployed in those two nations, within range” (David Sanger and William Broad, “As North Korea Speeds Its Nuclear Program, U.S. Fears Time Will Run Out,” The New York Times, April 24, 2017, emphasis added throughout).
Admiral Harry Harris, Commander of U.S. Pacific Command, told the Armed Services Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives in late April: “North Korea vigorously pursued a strategic strike capability in 2016. Kim’s strategic capabilities are not yet an existential threat to the U.S., but if left unchecked, he will gain the capability to match his rhetoric” (“Hawaii Threatened by North Korea Now, U.S. Commander Tells Congress,” McClatchy DC Bureau, April 26, 2017).
On June 3, at an international security conference in Singapore, U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis declared North Korea’s push to acquire nuclear-armed missiles a “clear and present danger,” an “urgent military threat” and “a threat to all” (quoted by Robert Burns, “Mattis: North Korea a ‘Clear and Present Danger’ to World, ABC News website, June 3, 2017).
President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping have agreed to work with the international community to try to achieve a peaceful solution to the North Korea nuclear threat. China has since suspended some imports of North Korean coal, consistent with UN sanctions, and began urging Kim Jong un to stop nuclear and missile activities.
President Trump’s approach is to pressure North Korea into dismantling its nuclear, ballistic missile and proliferation programs by instituting robust economic sanctions and taking stronger diplomatic actions.
After an April 26, 2017, White House briefing to U.S. senators regarding North Korea’s progress in nuclear weapons and missile capabilities, Defense Secretary Mattis, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Director of Intelligence Dan Coats said in a joint statement: “The United States seeks stability and the peaceful denuclearization of the Korean peninsula. We remain open to negotiations towards that goal. However, we remain prepared to defend ourselves and our allies.”
In an interview following that briefing, U.S. Senator Chris Coons of Delaware commented on the nuclear threat posed by North Korea by stating, “This is a very dangerous circumstance.”
Nuclear weapons threat: Iran
A third potential nuclear weapons danger to the United States and its allies arises from Iran. For more than six decades Iran had been engaged in efforts to develop nuclear energy technology. However it has always declared that all its nuclear activities are for peaceful purposes.
Various authorities have disagreed with that claim and some have reported on evidence of Iran’s efforts to acquire the capacity and expertise to build nuclear weapons. In a report from Nov. 25, 2015, the United Nations atomic agency assessed “that a range of activities relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device were conducted in Iran prior to the end of 2003 as a coordinated effort, and some activities took place up to 2009” (George Jahn, “UN Atomic Agency Believes Iran Conducted Experiments Meant to Develop Nuclear Weapons,” US News & World Report, Dec. 2, 2015.
On July 14, 2015, Iran and six world powers—China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States—reached an agreement to limit Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for relief from economic sanctions. These negotiations left ambiguity as to whether Iran would build nuclear weapons. But as noted above, Iran had previously developed the technologies needed to accomplish this in a relatively short period.
Added to its previous work on nuclear weapons science, Iran is formulating advanced missile delivery capability. “Tehran is developing increasingly sophisticated missiles and improving the range and accuracy of its other missile systems” (Anthony Cordesman, “Iran, Missiles, and Nuclear Weapons,” Center for Strategic and International Studies, Dec. 9, 2015).
An Iran with nuclear weapons would pose a severe threat to the security of the United States and its allies, along with the world at large. Consider the danger in these circumstances:
• A nuclear-armed Iran, coupled with the ability to miniaturize nuclear warheads so as to be mounted on intercontinental ballistic missiles, would create an existential threat.
• America’s Arab allies, such as the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia—which are anxious about Iran’s provocative regional actions—would feel significantly more vulnerable and threatened by a nuclear-armed Iran.
• If Iran develops nuclear weapons, it would likely trigger nuclear proliferation to other countries in the Middle East—such as Turkey, Egypt and Saudi Arabia—which would lead to even greater regional instability.
• Iran could share its nuclear weapons technology and proficiency with extremist groups such as Hezbollah, which is virulently hostile to Israel and the United States.
These are some of the reasons why the development of nuclear weapons capability by Iran is unacceptable to the United States and its allies.
What does the future hold?
But beyond the present dangers and threats posed by Russia, North Korea and Iran, what lies ahead for the United States and its allies? Will they end up locked in armed conflict? The immediate answer for the short term is that no one really knows. Nevertheless, the Bible is very clear regarding trends and events that will take place in what it describes as “the time of the end” (Daniel 12:4 Daniel 12:4But you, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.
American King James Version×; Daniel 12:9 Daniel 12:9And he said, Go your way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end.
American King James Version×).
The downfall of the United States, Britain and other descendants of ancient Israel will occur because they have turned away from God in reckless disobedience and lost His protection.
That future period will be incredibly dangerous and disastrous. As Jesus Christ Himself foretold: “For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened” (Matthew 24:21-22 Matthew 24:21-22 21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.
22 And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.
American King James Version×).
This time of “great tribulation”—described also as “a time of trouble” and “Jacob’s trouble” (Daniel 12:1 Daniel 12:1And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which stands for the children of your people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time your people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.
American King James Version×; Jeremiah 30:5-7 Jeremiah 30:5-7 5 For thus said the LORD; We have heard a voice of trembling, of fear, and not of peace. 6 Ask you now, and see whether a man does travail with child? why do I see every man with his hands on his loins, as a woman in travail, and all faces are turned into paleness? 7 Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble, but he shall be saved out of it.
American King James Version×)—will be so fearsome that if Jesus Christ doesn’t return to earth to end it, the entire human race will face extinction. When warfare, which includes the use of nuclear weapons, is combined with immensely destructive natural and supernatural forces, the future period of savagery and upheaval will make all previous periods of war seem tame by comparison.
The coming great tribulation will strike principally, but not be limited to, the modern-day descendants of ancient Israel. This includes the United States, Britain, other British-descended peoples and the present-day Jewish state of Israel. As Bible prophecy indicates, these nations will be attacked and plundered by malicious enemies at that time.
There is no indication in prophecy of a nation like the United States standing as a world superpower at the time of Christ’s return, giving further reason to understand that America will have collapsed sometime prior. (Other prophecies do reveal the United States as an end-time superpower, but the time frame is well before the final events yet to come.)
The downfall of the United States, Britain and other modern descendants of ancient Israel will occur because their citizens will have largely turned away from God in reckless disobedience and lost His divine protection. Previous to that coming destruction, they will have been the recipients of abundant blessings and great prominence in the world. (To learn more, download or request our free study guide The United States and Britain in Bible Prophecy . )
It’s important to note that Bible prophecy often has dual application and fulfillment—in both ancient times and the end time. The prophet Isaiah described both the people of ancient Israel and their contemporary descendants: “This is a rebellious people, lying children, children who will not hear the law of the Lord; who say to the seers, ‘Do not see,’ and to the prophets, ‘Do not prophesy to us right things; speak to us smooth things, prophesy deceits. Get out of the way, turn aside from the path, cause the Holy One of Israel to cease from before us’” (Isaiah 30:9-11 Isaiah 30:9-11 9 That this is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of the LORD:
10 Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not to us right things, speak to us smooth things, prophesy deceits:
11 Get you out of the way, turn aside out of the path, cause the Holy One of Israel to cease from before us.
American King James Version×).
Not only have many people in these nations abandoned God, they have also disregarded or spitefully despised His laws. This includes disgracing the sacred marriage relationship through rampant divorce and pervasive sexual immorality as well as the horrific murder of multiple millions of children through abortion.
During ancient Israel’s time, God admonished His chosen people repeatedly to forsake their lawlessness (Ezekiel 14:6 Ezekiel 14:6Therefore say to the house of Israel, Thus said the Lord GOD; Repent, and turn yourselves from your idols; and turn away your faces from all your abominations.
American King James Version×; Jeremiah 8:6 Jeremiah 8:6I listened and heard, but they spoke not aright: no man repented him of his wickedness, saying, What have I done? every one turned to his course, as the horse rushes into the battle.
American King James Version×). But because they refused, God told them they would be punished (Amos 3:2 Amos 3:2You only have I known of all the families of the earth: therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities.
American King James Version×; Leviticus 26:19 Leviticus 26:19And I will break the pride of your power; and I will make your heaven as iron, and your earth as brass:
American King James Version×). Through His prophet Ezekiel, God said: “Now upon you I will soon pour out My fury, and spend My anger upon you; I will judge you according to your ways, and I will repay you for all your abominations … Then you shall know that I am the Lord who strikes … The vision concerns the whole multitude, and it shall not turn back; no one will strengthen himself who lives in iniquity” (Ezekiel 7:8-9 Ezekiel 7:8-9 8 Now will I shortly pour out my fury on you, and accomplish my anger on you: and I will judge you according to your ways, and will recompense you for all your abominations. 9 And my eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity: I will recompense you according to your ways and your abominations that are in the middle of you; and you shall know that I am the LORD that smites.
American King James Version×; Ezekiel 7:13 Ezekiel 7:13For the seller shall not return to that which is sold, although they were yet alive: for the vision is touching the whole multitude thereof, which shall not return; neither shall any strengthen himself in the iniquity of his life.
American King James Version×).
What should you do to prepare?
While God sent His prophets to warn the people in those earlier days, what about His message to the nations today? God’s Church is now commissioned with the vital responsibility to proclaim to the modern-day descendants of ancient Israel—and indeed to all nations—God’s warnings in Scripture about the consequences of sin and the need to turn from disobedience (Isaiah 58:1 Isaiah 58:1Cry aloud, spare not, lift up your voice like a trumpet, and show my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins.
American King James Version×; Matthew 24:14 Matthew 24:14And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness to all nations; and then shall the end come.
American King James Version×; Matthew 28:19-20 Matthew 28:19-20 19 Go you therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatever I have commanded you: and, see, I am with you always, even to the end of the world. Amen.
American King James Version×). The gospel (or good news) that Jesus gave His Church to proclaim includes the vital message of repentance and salvation through Him, as well as His impending return to earth as humanity’s only hope of survival!
But sadly, as the end of this age draws near, the Bible explains that men, women and even children will become increasingly selfish, corrupt and intractable. The apostle Paul describes vividly their attitude and temperament:
“And know this: in the last days, times will be hard. You see, the world will be filled with narcissistic, money-grubbing, pretentious, arrogant, and abusive people. They will rebel against their parents and will be ungrateful, unholy, uncaring, coldhearted, accusing, without restraint, savage, and haters of anything good. Expect them to be treacherous, reckless, swollen with self-importance, and given to loving pleasure more than they love God. Even though they may look or act like godly people, they’re not. They deny His power. I tell you: stay away from the likes of these” (2 Timothy 3:1-5 2 Timothy 3:1-5 1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
3 Without natural affection, truce breakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,
4 Traitors, heady, high minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
American King James Version×, The Voice).
Because the vast majority of people today don’t know God or His Word, the Bible, they will be blind to danger signs increasing throughout society. As a result they will be shocked and frightened by numerous terrible conditions and events that will transpire (Matthew 24:37-39 Matthew 24:37-39 37 But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
38 For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark,
39 And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
American King James Version×).
But what about you and me? Are we disregarding God, or are we willing to change our ways and sincerely obey His Word? And are we preparing for what the Scriptures tell us will occur in the coming days?
Those who know and understand the truth are admonished to recognize clearly “the signs of the times” and to especially be spiritually awake and alert (Matthew 24:3 Matthew 24:3And as he sat on the mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of your coming, and of the end of the world?
American King James Version×; Luke 12:40 Luke 12:40Be you therefore ready also: for the Son of man comes at an hour when you think not.
American King James Version×; 1 Thessalonians 5:4 1 Thessalonians 5:4But you, brothers, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.
American King James Version×). “Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night. But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation” (1 Thessalonians 5:6-8 1 Thessalonians 5:6-8 6 Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. 7 For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. 8 But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.
American King James Version×).
Be ready all the time
To accomplish this we need to study the Bible diligently, apply its instructions faithfully and build a strong, close and enduring relationship with God. We also need to carry out unwaveringly our duty to preach and publish the gospel, even if people ignore or oppose it.
Those who refuse to follow God’s instructions to be obedient, watchful and prayerful will find themselves spiritually unprepared and then suffer the consequences of their neglect (Matthew 25:1-13 Matthew 25:1-13 1 Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened to ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom.
2 And five of them were wise, and five were foolish.
3 They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them:
4 But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.
5 While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept.
6 And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom comes; go you out to meet him.
7 Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps.
8 And the foolish said to the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out.
9 But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go you rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves.
10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut.
11 Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us.
12 But he answered and said, Truly I say to you, I know you not.
13 Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man comes.
American King James Version×). “Constantly be on your guard so that your hearts will not be loaded down with self-indulgence, drunkenness, and the worries of this life, or that day will take you by surprise like a trap, because it will come on everyone who lives on the face of the earth” (Luke 21:34-35 Luke 21:34-35 34 And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come on you unawares. 35 For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth.
American King James Version×, International Standard Version).
What else are we advised to do? We must be spiritually prepared and ever vigilant. “You also must be ready all the time, for the Son of Man will come when least expected” (Matthew 24:44 Matthew 24:44Therefore be you also ready: for in such an hour as you think not the Son of man comes.
American King James Version×, New Living Translation). “Be ready” includes maintaining zeal for God and His Work on earth while preparing energetically for Christ’s second coming (Matthew 25:1-13 Matthew 25:1-13 1 Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened to ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. 2 And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. 3 They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: 4 But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. 5 While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. 6 And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom comes; go you out to meet him. 7 Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. 8 And the foolish said to the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. 9 But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go you rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. 10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. 11 Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. 12 But he answered and said, Truly I say to you, I know you not. 13 Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man comes.
American King James Version×; Luke 21:36 Luke 21:36Watch you therefore, and pray always, that you may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.
American King James Version×; Revelation 3:3 Revelation 3:3Remember therefore how you have received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore you shall not watch, I will come on you as a thief, and you shall not know what hour I will come on you.
American King James Version×).
We need to make every effort, with God’s help, to abound with love, joy and faith through His divine Spirit, while jettisoning all spiritual weariness and lethargy (Philippians 1:11 Philippians 1:11Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.
American King James Version×; Acts 13:52 Acts 13:52And the disciples were filled with joy, and with the Holy Ghost.
American King James Version×; Galatians 6:9 Galatians 6:9And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.
American King James Version×; Revelation 3:14-17 Revelation 3:14-17 14 And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things said the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; 15 I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot: I would you were cold or hot. 16 So then because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of my mouth. 17 Because you say, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and know not that you are wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
American King James Version×). As we’ve seen, the Bible gives us ample instruction as to what we need to do in preparation for God’s coming, righteous Kingdom.
Finally, although we should certainly be mindful about the current nuclear peril posed by Russia, North Korea and Iran, let’s realize that times will grow increasingly worse prior to Jesus’ return to earth. To survive and even thrive through that future catastrophic period, let’s make sure our full attention and concentration is on developing our spiritual condition and relationship with God. This is what is most important and what He would have us do right now. Is it what you are doing?
Terrorism & EMP Weapons
Death and destruction due to terrorism is a pervasive element of today’s society. The potential of this despicable evil frightens citizens of many countries. Among nations and groups promoting and executing these malevolent acts are Iran and North Korea. U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis described Iran as the world’s “biggest state sponsor of terrorism.”
Daniel Byman, a professor and senior associate dean at Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service and a senior fellow in the Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution, wrote: “Iran’s leaders have used terrorism since they took power in 1979. Over 35 years later, Iran continues to use terrorism and to work with an array of violent substate groups that use terrorism among other tactics” (“State Sponsor of Terror: The Global Threat of Iran,” Feb. 11, 2015, Brookings Institution).
In October 2008, U.S. President George W. Bush removed North Korea from the State Department’s list of state sponsors of terrorism in the expectation that it would agree to halt its nuclear weapons development program. The strategy didn’t work. “Several shipments of arms have been intercepted on their way from North Korea to Iran and its terrorist proxies. North Korea has certainly provided material support for terrorists and terrorist organizations” (Ethan Epstein, “North Korea Is Definitely a State Sponsor of Terrorism,” The Weekly Standard, March 6, 2017).
A single nuclear missile launched from a ship off the U.S. coast and detonated in the atmosphere could destroy America’s electrical infrastructure.
In addition to countless terrorist bombings and assassinations that both Iran and North Korea have helped perpetuate, these nations are researching means of developing and employing electromagnetic pulse (EMP) nuclear weapons.
“An EMP attack on the United States could materialize in two forms: nuclear and non-nuclear. The most devastating form, and most difficult to achieve, is an EMP that results from a nuclear weapon. This form destroys any ‘unhardened’ electronic equipment and electric power system which means virtually any civilian infrastructure in the United States” (Jena Baker McNeill and Richard Weitz, “Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) Attack: A Preventable Homeland Security Catastrophe,” The Heritage Foundation, Oct. 20, 2008).
While Iranian missiles cannot yet reach America, a potential nuclear weapons capability could still directly threaten the U.S. homeland. Many national security experts are worried about the possibility of a nuclear weapon arriving in a cargo container at a major U.S. port. In addition, there is great concern that a single missile containing a nuclear warhead launched from a ship or submarine off the U.S. coast and detonated in the atmosphere could destroy America’s electrical infrastructure.
“Suspected for years of plotting to dismantle the U.S. electric grid, American officials have confirmed that Iranian military brass have endorsed a nuclear electromagnetic pulse explosion that would attack the country’s power system. American defense experts made the discovery while translating a secret Iranian military handbook. A knowledgeable source said that the textbook discusses an EMP attack on America in 20 different places” (Paul Bedard, Washington Examiner, March 19, 2015).
Furthermore, North Korea launched missiles into space in April 2012 and February 2016 and now has two earth-observation satellites in low orbit. Michael Maloof, a former U.S. Defense Department security policy analyst, explained their deadly significance: “North Korea could orbit a satellite which would be the size of a nuclear bomb and detonate it upwards of 300 miles above Earth, on command, making North Korea a threat to any country as a result” (“Expert: North Korea Has EMP Attack Capability,” WND.com, April 25, 2017).
Contrary to conventional thought, North Korea does not actually need a missile capable of reaching the United States mainland to create damage and havoc. This is because a satellite-based nuclear weapon could accomplish a crippling EMP attack that could effectively bring down the U.S. power grid.
Furthermore, a high-yield megaton-class (1,000-kiloton) nuclear weapon is not required for an effective EMP strike, according to Dr. Peter Vincent Pry, executive director of the Task Force on National and Homeland Security and chief of staff of the Congressional EMP Commission. He stated: “I am looking at an unclassified U.S. Government chart that shows [that] a 10-kiloton warhead (the power of the Hiroshima A-Bomb) detonated at an altitude of 70 kilometers will generate an EMP field inflicting upset and damage on unprotected electronics” (“Time to Take NKorea Nuke Threats Seriously,” Newsmax, May 4, 2017).
By some estimates, as few as three EMP detonations properly placed above the United States could lead to the deaths of 90 percent of the U.S. population within a year from starvation and disease. The danger is real and growing.