3 And when he had opened the second seal, I heard the second beast say, Come and see. 4 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. Rev 6:3-4 (KJV)
War is the result of the Antichrist.
7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. Matt 24:7 (KJV)
Despite his promises of peace… the Antichrist will wage war against any who oppose his rule. And no doubt he will repeat the tired old excuses the Soviet Union used to make. “We were invited in to keep the peace.” or Hitler’s Polish excuse. “We were attacked. We didn’t start the war. But we will bring swift vengeance on those who brought this bloodshed…”
I think this is the most probable of the two. The Antichrist, like Hitler before him, will probably start the wars secretly, and loudly proclaim his innocence. He will tolerate no dissension against his rule, and no holdouts. The Antichrist has two goals to conquer the entire earth, and to be worshiped as a god. He will be more successful in both goals than any tyrant or kingdom in history. It is probable that Israel alone will stand against him.
The numbers of people that die in this war are not told in Scripture. Several million people died in World War II. Modern warfare tends to be more accurate, so “collateral casualties” should be lower. However, the firepower of other nations is not as accurate.
Which nations will fight? Two possible solutions.
- This may be Gog/Magog of Ezekiel 38 &39. if so, then Iran, Sudan, Libya and Turkey will unite with Russia to attack Israel. It could be in defiance of the Antichrist, or it could be him initiating the attack.Therefore, son of man, prophesy and say unto Gog, Thus saith the Lord GOD; In that day when my people of Israel dwelleth safely, shalt thou not know it? 15 And thou shalt come from thy place out of the north parts, thou, and many people with thee, all of them riding upon horses, a great company, and a mighty army: 16 And thou shalt come up against my people of Israel, as a cloud to cover the land; it shall be in the latter days, and I will bring thee against my land, that the heathen may know me, when I shall be sanctified in thee, O Gog, before their eyes. Ezek 38:14-16 (KJV)
Some people have calculated the square mileage of these countries, and the total square mileage roughly corresponds to 33% of the Earth’s land mass. This is important when we get to the later Seals.
Arnold Fruchtenbaum and Tim Laheye believe this battle will take place before the tribulation. Most others place it just after the Tribulation.
A Note: There will be a second Gog/Magog battle, at the end of the Millennium. It will be swiftly stopped and destroyed by God Himself, just as God will intervene in this Gog/Magog battle.
- This could be a different battle altogether. Revelation speaks of the Antichrist turning on three of his kings. Or as I theorized above, it could be countries refusing to bend the knee to the Antichrist, and are attacked. This may explain why America is not mentioned in prophecy. This is the most likely scenario.
Again, Revelation does not fully explain details, for obvious reasons. Satan knows Scripture, but cannot correctly understand it. If timings and details are hidden or obscured, Satan cannot attempt to stop it or frustrate God’s plans – because he can’t correctly understand them!
I have no idea how many people will die in this war. Scripture does not say. It could be 1,000, 10,000, or a million. Tim Laheye and Thomas Ice both believe the only real casualties of Gog and Magog are the attacking armies.
Russia has a standing armed forces of 69 million. Assuming that no country would commit more than 25% of their armed forces to an invasion, I’ll assume that the total losses in this battle are 17,250,000.
So, I’ll leave the estimated population at 7 billion.