"Zap 'em! Fry 'em! Stun 'em! But whatever you do . . . Don't kill them!" These words in the July 7, 1997, U.S. News & World Report depicted in cartoon the serious text that followed. The article, "Wonder Weapons," and the subtitle, "The Pentagon's Quest for Nonlethal Arms Is Amazing. But Is It Smart?," takes a somber look at the prototypical, futuristic and nonlethal weapons being developed by the United States military.
"For a good 40 years, the U.S. military has quietly been pursuing weapons of this sort," said the article. A cartoonlike illustration showed 21st-century soldiers looking like sci-fi GI Joes. Dressed in camouflage fatigues and helmets with large, light-reflecting, protective, beach-style sunglasses covering the soldiers' eyes and upper faces, each soldier brandished Star Wars-like weapons, emitting nonlethal waves that would stun, but not kill, the enemy.
Inadvertently, this major news magazine presented a scenario remarkably similar to the apocalyptic symbolism of the book of Revelation. This book, at the end of your Bible, predicts end-time warfare somewhat akin to the reports of modern journalists. The language is different, certainly, more symbolic, but the results sound quite similar:
"Then the fifth angel sounded: And I saw a star fallen from heaven to the earth. To him was given the key to the bottomless pit. And he opened the bottomless pit, and smoke arose out of the pit like the smoke of a great furnace. So the sun and the air were darkened because of the smoke of the pit. Then out of the smoke locusts came upon the earth. And to them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power.
"They were commanded not to harm the grass of the earth, or any green thing, or any tree, but only those men who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads. And they were not given authority to kill them, but to torment them for five months. Their torment was like the torment of a scorpion when it strikes a man. In those days men will seek death and will not find it; they will desire to die, and death will flee from them" (Revelation 9:1-6, emphasis added).
The prophecies of Revelation are far more foreboding than U.S. News & World Report's somewhat satirical rendering. When it comes to modern weaponry, as well as chemical and biological warfare, could the Bible be closer to the truth than many people have previously thought?
According to God's warnings to humanity, the specter of weapons unlike anything we've ever imagined-possibly including chemical and biological weapons-will one day be reality. Only God can ultimately save mankind from these prophesied catastrophes.