Summary: World war one was followed by WW2 - There is another world war coming.

Isaiah 2:4 And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.

They didn’t tell Leopold Lojka about the change in plans. The original route had been planned very carefully, but that was before a would-be assassin threw a grenade at the Gräf & Stift sports car he drove. The chauffeur quickly swerved, causing the grenade to bounce off the folded top of the car. It exploded underneath the following car in the motorcade, injuring the soldiers in that car, along with some of the bystanders.

After the explosion, Leopold accelerated, and the motorcade proceeded at high speed to the City Hall for an official reception. Although they had no way of knowing it, they had sped so fast past another assassin, a Serbian named Gavrilo Princip, that he had no opportunity to act. After the reception, Archduke Ferdinand insisted on making a detour in order to go by the hospital where those who had been wounded in the earlier attack had been taken. Everyone agreed, but no one informed the chauffeur. So as Leopold drove down the original route, he made a turn down the wrong street.

General Oskar Potiorek, also riding in the car, told Leopold to stop and back up. The chauffeur stopped just in front of a sidewalk café where Gavrilo Princip had positioned himself after his earlier lost opportunity. Seizing the moment, Princip jumped up from his table, brandished his revolver, and ran toward the limousine. Leopold recognized the threat and attempted to back up, but his foot missed the accelerator; thus, for a fatal moment, the limousine remained stationary. Princip fired his revolver twice. His first shot struck Archduke Ferdinand in the throat, and the second one wounded the archduke’s wife Sophie in the abdomen. Within minutes, both the archduke and his wife were dead.

Next the assassin turned his revolver upon himself, but bystanders grabbed his arm and restrained him until the police arrived. Soon it all came out. The conspirators were all Serbs, so the government of Austria-Hungary quickly took countermeasures against its Serbian population.

The aftermath

From this point on, it was all downhill. The majority of Serbs shared the Russian Orthodox faith; because of this religious connection, the Russians felt compelled to support them. So they declared war on Austria-Hungary. Whereupon the Germans, allies of Austria and Hungary, declared war on the Russians. England and France joined the war on the side of Russia. By the time the world’s leaders had time to think rationally about what they were doing, it was too late to stop the momentum.

The assassination of Archduke Ferdinand took place on June 28, 1914. By August, virtually every country on mainland Europe had become embroiled in what we know as World War I.*

Shortly after the war began, author H. G. Wells published a series of articles that were compiled into a book with the title The War That Will End War. That phrase soon captured the imagination of the general public in England, and later in America, as “the war to end all wars.”

Those who witnessed that war firsthand might be excused for thinking humanity would never risk such a thing again. Even by modern standards World War I was unimaginably savage and barbaric. Unfortunately, the generals continued to fight the war with military tactics that were common in a previous era: they sent waves of infantry against the enemy. While this strategy might have been effective when both sides used muskets that were minimally accurate up to 150 yards, against machine guns it proved suicidal. Repeatedly, the generals on both sides ordered infantry charges against an entrenched enemy, with grimly predictable results. Soldiers fell in windrows, as interlocking fields of machine gun fire scythed through flesh and blood like so much ripened wheat. The Battle of the Somme alone claimed more than a million casualties. Late in the war, chemical warfare added to the horror.

It seemed impossible that humanity would risk such carnage ever again. Unfortunately, as we all know, despite the appalling waste of that war, many wars have followed. “The war to end all wars” did not achieve its objective.

The war that began all wars

The problem, of course, is that the origins of human conflict lie deeper than any military or diplomatic solution could possibly reach. Indeed, the war that began all wars didn’t even begin on this planet. The book of Revelation tells us that this war began in the most unlikely place: in heaven itself.

“And there was war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back” (Revelation 12:7). But who is Michael? And who is the dragon?

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