One of the most misunderstood facets of prophecy study is the question, "When does world war 3 begin according to the scriptures?" Tons of books have been written proposing that WW3 starts after the rapture and before the beginning of the end-times 7 year period, or proposed that WW3 begins sometime during the first 3.5 years in the Tribulation period, or begins near the end of the 7 year period in a war which ends at Armageddon. All of these "theories" are incorrect and the correct beginning of world war 3 can be shown to begin immediately after the middle of the end-times 7 year period, right after the abomination of desolation takes place. When I say proved conclusively, I mean without a doubt, without any equivocation! I will conclusively prove the point in this article, but let me first lay out what the scenario looks like which will make it easier for you to grasp the points.
In the middle of the end-times 7 year period, the antichrist will sit down in the most holy place of the soon to be built Jewish Temple in Jerusalem, and declare falsely that he is God. This is called throughout scriptures, the abomination of desolation. It is also called the beginning of the Great Tribulation period.
Almost immediately after the abomination of desolation, Egypt will lead an alliance of Arab nations in attacking Israel to achieve their long-time objective of ridding the Middle East of Jews and creating a Palestinian nation in what is now Israel. In the Arab alliance with Egypt are Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, and Jordan, all the nations which surround Israel. Actually, the scriptures tell us that Jordan will attempt to remain neutral, but will enter the war as Israelis flee the invading armies and try to cross the Jordan River and also a route south of the Dead Sea. The Jordanians attack the fleeing Jewish refugees. Egypt and her Arab allies are called the King of the South in Daniel 11:40, and they will start the war because they have an ironclad treaty with Russia to join in the war once Egypt starts it. Russia and her allies are called the King of the North. This powerful coalition will have a single purpose in mind, to forever eliminate the Jewish problem.
World War 3 will not last a long time in duration, but will be the most deadly conflict ever, with nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons used by both sides. On the side of Israel will be the European Community, the United States, other NATO countries, Japan, and China. Tens of millions will be killed with this unprecedented use of nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons. Japan and China will enter the war only after the US has been attacked in a surprise all-out nuclear attack from Russia. Unlike the Desert Storm war of 1991, the coalition forces will not stop their attack until all the nations which attacked Israel are completely overrun. Forces from China and Japan will go all the way to the very western borders of Russia.
World War 3 ends with total victory at a very high price to the combatants involved. However, scripture shows us that the war will end during the Great Tribulation period, before the time of the 6th Seal events of Revelation 6:12-14. At the time of the 6th Seal events, the rapture of believers takes place and then the wrath of God period begins, called the Day of the Lord. During the Day of the Lord the 7 Trumpet Judgments and 7 Bowl Judgments occur. The Armageddon war starts just before the return of Jesus as conquering Messiah, as the nations revolt against the incredibly strict dictatorship economic control by the antichrist.
Now, let me prove conclusively to you, that World War 3 starts immediately after the abomination of desolation in the middle of the end-times 7 year period!
In both the Matthew 24 and Mark 13 versions of the Olivet Discourse, Jesus told Peter, James, John, and Andrew the events that would take place just before He returned to take over rule and reign of the whole earth. In that discourse, He revealed that something very important was to take place right after the abomination of desolation.
That same corresponding text is Matthew 24:15-22, where that future period is called the Great Tribulation as opposed to the first half of the 7 year period which is called the Tribulation period. I know, you've read the above text and probably are saying that no world war is mentioned. I've started off with the obscure texts first, but you'll soon see that Jesus was obliquely referring to the coming world war 3 timeframe. The reason that Jesus said for those in Judea (modern Israel) to flee when the abomination of desolation takes place, is that there will quickly be an all-out attack upon Israel with armies many times the size of Israel's entire population. Our next text is in the Luke 21 version of the Olivet Discourse, where a few more details are mentioned.
Many have interpreted the Luke passage above as applying to the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans in 70 AD, but the truth is that there is a future fulfillment. The disciples had asked two questions of Jesus, (1) when will the Temple be destroyed, and (2) what will be the signs when His return was about to take place? Jesus' answer took in the destruction of the Temple in 70 AD, but the whole context is about events that will take place just before He returns to set up the kingdom of God on the earth. Notice that the same language is used in the Matthew, Mark, and Luke versions, where people in Judea are told to flee for the mountains, and woe to those who are pregnant or nursing babies. No one will argue that the text in Matthew and Mark are exclusively about the end-times 7 year period, but they argue about the text in Luke even though it uses the same language. Perhaps they are arguing to fit the scripture into their pre-conceived notions! Another thought concerns the phrase, "all things which are written may be fulfilled." We know that all prophecy will be fulfilled before the Messiah returns to reign on the earth, but who would apply that understanding to the destruction of the Temple in 70 AD? Obviously no one would reach that conclusion.
Now that we've hit the more obscure references, let's go on to the clear unarguable texts which prove the point. In Daniel 11:36-38, we are shown that the antichrist will falsely declare himself to be God, and will not honor any of the gods of the various religions. Then we are shown the attack which commences world war 3, after the text about the abomination of desolation!
No one will argue that this scripture text is about world war 3, but many argue that Daniel 11:36-38 may not be talking about the abomination of desolation. Take a look at how the angel explained the events to Daniel.
The angel was referring back to the verses in Daniel 11:36-38, where a more explanatory version of the abomination of desolation was given. We know that the antichrist will stop the regular sacrifices in the soon to be built Jewish Temple, and perform the abomination of desolation. Clearly then, the start of world war 3 begins in Daniel 11:40, after the abomination of desolation.
The next example is the clearest in scripture, where the entire book of Joel is about the Great Tribulation period and details the invasion of the king of the North into Israel. The identifying texts show that the book of Joel events occur after the sacrifices in the Jewish Temple are stopped (at the time of the abomination of desolation).
Instead of splitting apart the concepts, I gave them all to you at once. The texts from Joel state that the time context is after the sacrifices in the Temple have been stopped. We know from other texts such as Daniel 12:11, that the antichrist will stop the sacrifices in the Temple and perform the abomination of desolation. So, the time frame in the book of Joel is after the sacrifices are stopped and before the Day of the Lord begins. Notice in Joel 1:15 above, that the timing is when the Day of the Lord is near, but hasn't come. Joel 2:1, likewise says that the timing is before the Day of the Lord. Another concept from the text above is that an army has invaded the nation of Israel (Joel 1:6), and that army is the northern army (Joel 2:20). The northern army is the king of the North from Daniel 11:40. Therefore, the scriptural texts confirm the scenario outlined at the beginning of this article, that world war 3 begins during the Great Tribulation period, before the Day of the Lord period.
Another concept from the texts above is that the Day of the Lord period begins after the 6th Seal signs of Revelation 6:12-14, where the sun becomes black like sackcloth, and the moon became like blood. Notice that Joel 2:31 and Joel 3:14-15 both refer to the sun and moon becoming dark, and are the 6th Seal signs of Revelation 6. What is so significant, is that Joel 2:31 states that the 6th Seal signs occur before the Day of the Lord comes. The text from Joel 3:14-15, also states that when the 6th Seal signs occur, the Day of the Lord is near. Are there other scriptures that say the same thing? Take a look at the book of Matthew.
How clear do you want it? Without a doubt, the period up to the 6th Seal signs are called the tribulation of those days (made up of the Tribulation and Great Tribulation periods). We have two witnesses that state that immediately after the tribulation of those days the 6th Seal signs take place, and the two texts from the book of Joel that clearly state that the 6th Seal signs take place before the Day of the Lord begins!
If you read the book of Joel, you'll clearly see that the invasion of the northern army into Israel is over before the 6th Seal signs and before the Day of the Lord begins. If hardheaded, you might ask, "Roy, are there more scriptures that confirm the same things?" Yeah, sure, take a look at Ezekiel 30, with verses 1-9 about that same time period before the Day of the Lord begins.
God our Father has placed clues like this throughout scripture, where it states that the Day of the Lord is near. That phrase sets the time frame for the prophecy. Notice that it talks of the same nations mentioned in Daniel 11, Ezekiel 38 & 39, and others. Put and Lud above add the names of modern day Sudan and Tunisia, and perhaps Algeria. It takes no great leap of knowledge that calculate that in an all-out attack on Israel to eliminate them once and for all, that all the Arab nations will want to participate. But Roy, are there other texts which point to the same time frame you've mentioned? Take a look at Ezekiel 32, which ties in the 6th Seal signs as occurring after Egypt is destroyed, and also tells us who decimates Egypt.
As in the Daniel 11:40 text, the above scripture is about the king of the South, Egypt. The time frame of the chapter is identified by the 6th Seal signs in Ezekiel 32:7, as the sun and the moon become dark. The alliance headed by the antichrist, the king of Babylon, will decimate the land of Egypt for their attack on the nation of Israel. Ezekiel 32 goes on to cite the other nations which are decimated along with Israel.
Other reference texts concerning our topic of world war 3 occurring in the Great Tribulation period are Isaiah 13, which discusses a war when the Day of the Lord is near. The book of Obadiah is entirely about the war during the Great Tribulation period, when the Day of the Lord is near. Obadiah details the actions which Edom (modern Jordan) takes against the fleeing Israelis, who attempt to cross the Jordan River and south of the Dead Sea route when the Arab and Russian armies overrun Israel.
The scriptural references provide overwhelming evidence for the outlined scenario. It takes courage to face the truth that your previous understanding of prophecy is flawed. Do you have the courage to accept the truth and change? God our Father will give you the understanding if you ask Him.