Every night the whole world goes to sleep aboard a huge multi-megaton bomb — fully capable of exterminating every man, woman and child from the face of this earth. Yet most people — focusing only on their own day-to-day concerns and how to eke out a "good life" in the midst of economic uncertainty — seem oblivious to the awesome and frightening significance of nuclear proliferation. During the Korean War, I was stationed on a U.S. naval aircraft carrier just offshore Korea. On board were huge "blockbuster" type bombs weighing up to 2,000 pounds. I used to help lower them into their bins with pulleys. Between loadings we would sometimes take time out for a little catnap. I would actually stretch myself out on the back of one of those great big bombs and go serenely off to sleep. After all, it didn't have a fuse in it. I felt just about as safe as if I'd been in my bunk.
After a few days of personal acquaintanceship with big bombs and guns, they don't look so deadly anymore. You tend to think of them as completely safe and harmless — you never think of one suddenly going off.
Human beings learn to readily adapt their lives to very dangerous circumstances. People just don't think of spaceship earth in terms of an enormous arsenal of thermonuclear weaponry both buried underground in missile silos and in underwater submarines.
Opening Pandora's Box When man began to tamper with the makeup of matter and to split the atom, he was dealing with the very building blocks of the universe and intruding into an area of unknown consequences. The bomb he finally built, it was feared, would feed on mankind's very environment — the air, the ground, people, horses, animals, buildings — everything would explode and be changed into instant energy in a gigantic chain reaction.
Man had succeeded in finding a key with which he could unlock just a tiny bit of the energy contained in matter. The final result is this spaceship called earth is currently harboring a giant, unwanted stowaway capable of rendering all life into just so many tons of pure energy.
We began living in this kind of world in 1945. Incredibly, it was then possible for the first time in history for one bomber — high in the stratosphere — to carry enough destructive force to obliterate an entire city. Some thirty years later, it is now possible for one bomber to carry sufficient firepower to represent the entire destructive force unleashed by all participants in World War II — including the atomic explosions at Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
We have come to the point where the United States and the Soviet Union possess enough nuclear stockpiles to annihilate all human life of many, many separate worlds like ours. This kind of nuclear overkill defies human description — it boggles the mind!
How It All Came To Be About five years ago, on the occasion of the 27th anniversary of the dropping of the first two atomic bombs, an editorial by David Lawrence, the late editor of U.S. News & World Report, appeared in that popular American news weekly. It was actually a verbatim reprint of the editorial he had written on August 6, 1945, following the destruction of the two Japanese cities.
It began: "Man has at last brought forth a weapon that reduces war to an absurdity. Man has discovered that a means of destroying whole nations is available out of the minerals of the earth and that no people can hope to remain secure against the atomic bombs of another people no matter how distant one country may be from another. A single airplane riding high in the stratosphere, unobserved and undetected because of its great speed, propelled by this new energy, can appear suddenly over London or Washington or Detroit or Pittsburgh... and destroy human lives by the hundreds of thousands in just a few seconds."
Remember, this editorial was originally written in 1945, before the present age of missiles and spacecraft.
Later in the article, Mr. Lawrence continued: "All the world knows that the secrets of the atomic bomb cannot long be withheld from the scientists of nations large and small. The tiniest nation with a laboratory and certain raw materials will 'have a weapon that can be used to destroy its neighbors."
How prophetic that was! We've come a long way since "Little Boy" was dumped out of a B-29 bomb bay over Hiroshima. Now forty nations are ready to join the nuclear club — each one able, perhaps by 1985, to make a few bombs of the low-yield kiloton range — the type that destroyed Nagasaki at the ushering in of the nuclear age.
India already has the bomb. It has been commonly reported that Israel has the bomb. The Arab world has nuclear reactors. In the Middle East, where passions and continual threats of war are potentially explosive, billions of dollars of arms are being stockpiled. History has taught us nothing.
Has the world gone completely mad?
Yerucham Amitai, former deputy chief of the Israeli Air Force, is quoted as saying: "In the end, we may have to choose between action that might pull down the Temple of Humanity itself rather than surrender even a single member of the family to the executioners" (quoted from 90 Minutes to Entebbe, by William Stevenson).
"Pull down the Temple of Humanity"! What an electrifying statement! What implications! You can draw your own conclusions. What Amitai may well have meant, in this 1970 conversation with author Stevenson, is that Israel has the bomb, and that she would be willing to use it if the nation were ever again threatened with extinction. Will Israel plunge the world into a nuclear holocaust rather than accept destruction by her enemies?
Man has at last brought forth a weapon that reduces war to an absurdity. Man has discovered a means of destroying whole nations out of the minerals of the earth.Only time will tell — perhaps less time than we think!
Amitai only put into words the true feelings and intentions of many nations. Probably others will not be as honest and forward about admitting it. But, in truth, this world is much closer to World War III, to be fought with nuclear arms, than most people realize.
Has there ever been a weapon from time immemorial that has not been used? You name it: knives, spear, Gatling gun, machine gun, torpedo, atomic bomb — all have been used! Have the scientists and the military geniuses — with all their ingenuity in searching forever greater and more effective methods of dispensing with human flesh — ever failed to eventually use the weapons and systems they've designed?
In the next few years, when. 40 nations have the bomb; the likelihood of nuclear war will be that much greater!
What Will Man Do? Editor Lawrence asked toward the conclusion of his remarkable editorial: "What will man say to this? Will he foolishly toy with the new weapon; build huge factories, and husband supplies of atomic energy against potential enemies?"
That is exactly what man has done! Only he wasn't satisfied with mere atom bombs — they were but the match it took to produce the heat required to cause the fusion of the hydrogen-helium process which brought about the hydrogen bomb. Finally came multi-megaton nuclear warheads incorporated into a missile system that can deliver destruction to cities half a world away in less than 45 minutes.
Will man husband supplies of atomic weapons? Oh, yes. They're stockpiled around the world in caves, caverns, ordnance depots and nuclear submarines. Many are deep in the bowels of mountains. The United States has its own private arsenal and the Soviet Union possesses perhaps even more sophisticated nuclear weaponry.
Until a matter of a very few months ago, we all thought in terms of a nuclear stalemate — more or less a bomb-for-bomb, missile-for-missile standoff between Russia and the United States. Previously it was almost universally agreed that the U.S. nuclear striking force could eradicate most major Russian population and industrial centers — all of which rendered any possible Soviet adventurism as unthinkable. But this idea was based on the concept that our Minuteman land-based system would hit its many targets in the Soviet Union; likewise our Poseidon submarines.
Soviet Challenge Startling new developments in recent weeks have revealed that our Minuteman strategic missile system may be obsolete. Apparently the Soviet Union has been pouring far more money into its civil defense programs than the United States — perhaps to the tune of twelve times as much. Also it has been reported that Russian scientists have recently come up with a brand new radar equipped with delicate missile-jamming systems which confuse the missile sensors that guide the war-heads to their targets. In other words, American missiles would never reach their targets!
A recent issue of Aviation and Space Technology magazine said something that ought to shock us all: "The Soviet Union is wresting nuclear weapons superiority from the United States and endangering the effectiveness of the U.S. ballistic missile deterrent."
Further, Aviation Week said the Soviets are operating a transportable missile defense radar system known as the X-3 system. If deployed around major population centers, the X-3 is capable, when used in conjunction with antiballistic missiles, "of rendering... ineffective" U.S. land-based Minuteman intercontinental missiles and Polaris/Poseidon submarine-launched ballistic missiles.
Soviet Civil Defense Put this together with the fact that the Soviets are earmarking massive amounts of rubles for civil-defense. Aviation Week reported that "Soviet authorities believe that by proper civil defense preparations, losses will be as little as 10% of the population."
On the other hand, some estimates have indicated that about a third of the American population would disappear as a direct result of the first missile strike.
Civil defense has not been a part of the American mentality since the early sixties, when for a brief time fear of an imminent nuclear war swept the United States. Luridly frightening ads were written — displaying the latest and roomiest ready-made fallout shelters for one's own backyard. Striking newspaper articles talked in terms of "Project Noah" and survival colonies.
It all turned out to be just another money-making scheme which soon petered out. The shelters themselves were far from equal to the task of being practical survival units. But at least, then, the real possibility of nuclear warfare was at the forefront of the American mind. Today American citizens and British subjects think of anything but the possible danger of a nuclear holocaust. Our minds are calloused to the possibility — which is far greater now than it was then!
We take the nuclear age casually for granted. We've grown accustomed to it. We've learned to live with it. Few in Britain or America
Today our [highly mobile, missile-equipped, Soviet] wartime navy plays a universal role. It is able to fight under water, above the water, and in the air."worry about an imminent atomic attack. Both Americans and Britons view civil defense as an essentially fruitless endeavor. Obviously, the Russians think otherwise.
In a Pincers Movement The Western world is being caught in a modern-day, space-age "pincers movement." Not only has our land-based nuclear superiority apparently disappeared, but also our monopoly on sea power. Britannia ruled the waves for several centuries. And even after British military sea power began to wane, there was always the presence of the mighty U.S. Sixth Fleet.
The Plain Truth warned of the sharp escalation of Soviet sea power as early as 1968. However, at that time it could still be said that "the USSR is No. 2 in sea power when compared to U.S. strength" ("The Growing Specter of Soviet Sea Power in the Mediterranean," October 1968).
Even then the Russians were making heavy inroads into the overall maritime picture. The Plain Truth reported at that time: "Already [in 1968] the Soviet submarine fleet outnumbers that of the U.S. 'The Red navy now possesses a submarine fleet which can bring Europe and the United States under fire with 130 to 200 nuclear war-headed ballistic missiles. An increase... to 300 by 1972 is planned...' (At last July 1968)."
Remember, this was the grim situation back in 1968. Since then the U.S. position has steadily worsened. Jane's Fighting Ships, the authoritative reference for the world's navies, now reports that the Soviet Union has three times as many submarines as the U.S.
The Russians understand that a modern, highly mobile, missile-equipped navy roaming about in the seventy percent of the earth's surface that is water is one of the most effective ways to gain control of the thirty percent that is land.
A modern navy's mobility enables it to move to trouble spots far from home and close to enemy shores.
Admiral Gorshkov summed up the Soviet situation for Pravda back in February of 1968: "Today our war-time navy plays a universal role. It is able to fight under water, above the water, and in the air."
Since then Admiral Gorshkov has written a book called The Maritime Power of the State. In it he outlines total global supremacy at sea for the Soviet Union. But not as an end in itself — only the means to the greater overall purpose of world dominance.
Does anyone in his right mind actually believe that the Soviet leaders have given up their long term goal of total world domination? The truth is that the basic overall communist goal has not changed one little bit since the Russian Revolution of 1917.
Time Running Out Time is running out on the Western world. Gradually we are being maneuvered into a "vulnerable and untenable global situation," as one author expressed it. Our leaders are surveying various options open to them. For instance, one option would be to make Red China an ally of the United States in order to offset Soviet military superiority. To effectively bring this about would undoubtedly be difficult, if not impossible.
The plain facts are, we are fast running out of practical options. To catch up and pass Soviet military strength would require a larger defense budget than either Congress or the public would ever allow. Yet to stand still militarily means a wider and wider strategic gap between the two superpowers — with America on the down side.
"Buying allies" is an expensive and dirty business these days. Unfailingly many such "allies" seem to vote against the United States in any critical United Nations General Assembly vote.
Really, the only workable option left open to Britain and America is to trust God! But to seriously suggest that we ought to turn to God in all our troubles sounds humorous to many. For a member of Congress (or an M.P) to stand up and with a straight face say that we ought to repent of our national sins and crimes and nationally go to God on our knees, asking forgiveness through Jesus Christ, might invite the following reaction from fellow parliamentarians:
An instant ripple of laughter would softly flow across the big hall, as legislators shifted positions, crossed and uncrossed legs, looked at one another incredulously, doodled on notepaper and silently wished the speaker would sit down and shut up.
To hear a leader of government propose such a "ridiculous" solution to Western world affairs is to wonder if the poor man is suffering from a serious brain disease. That someone would dare to actually inject religion into an august legislative session would be the very height of effrontery.
To seriously suggest that Jesus Christ of Nazareth is our only hope for true and lasting peace would place the legislator in the position of "religious fanatic" — instantly destroying his credibility — and would for all practical purposes ruin his political career.
To be sure, thousands have chuckled, chortled, sneered or laughed openly at loud Bible-thumping sermons warning of Jesus' impending return — and even at the more polished assertions of such a futuristic event in the more cultured tones of generally accepted evangelists.
In Black and White But take a good look at this ancient quotation spoken nearly 1950 years ago: "For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved."
The speaker was Jesus Christ of Nazareth. He was talking to a group of His disciples who had just asked Him: "Tell us, when will this be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the close of the age?"
Those words of Jesus — "there should no flesh be saved" — could not have been understood before 1945 and the advent of the atomic age! This is a biblical description of a time so unprecedented, so unparalleled in the entirety of human civilization, that unless there was some type of supernatural intervention there wouldn't be a man, woman or child left on the face of this round earth.
You just read the quotation with your own eyes in black and white. If you don't believe me, pick up almost any translation of the Bible and open it to the twenty-fourth chapter of Matthew.
But let's return to the editorial by David Lawrence from which I quoted earlier:
"But we shall miss the entire significance of the new discoveries [the atomic bomb] if we do not apply a spiritual interpretation. It is man and not God who must assume responsibility for this devilish weapon. Perhaps He is reminding us all that man-made weapons can, if their use is unrestrained, destroy civilization, and that man still has the chance to choose between the destructive and constructive use of the findings of science."
Jesus Christ was nearly 2,000 years ahead of David Lawrence, who was well ahead of his time, back in 1945. Christ foretold a time in human history when no one would be left alive if He didn't intervene in this world's affairs and cut the days short. He was way ahead of the movie On the Beach. He was way ahead of science fiction novels about the annihilation of humanity. Jesus knew, two thousand years in advance, that humankind would be fast asleep on a gigantic bomb — with a slow-burning fuse!
He further predicted: "Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom [wars]: and great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven... And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity..." (Luke 21:10, 11, 25).
Jesus described our fearsome days. He foretold the chaos among nations, the increasing natural calamities, the impending nuclear holocaust.
We live in a time when the fulfillment of the major prophecies of the Bible is in the immediate offing. We don't like to acknowledge that. We always like to think that history is going along pretty much as always; that we're in the middle of history. But our nuclear-armed age is different.
We are told that the UN is "the world's last hope for peace." That was its reason for being created out of the ashes of World War II. But what a shaky hope it is proving to be! The UN has degenerated into a forum for puny nations to attack the United States and the rest of the free world and all we hold dear. What a paradox! The world's last hope for peace has become an instrument for nations to berate one another like squabbling children!
The uneasy stalemate between "the war that cannot be fought and the peace that cannot be achieved" cannot last much longer.
But how does all this information help you? What can you possibly do about it?
What Should You Do? What possible recourse do you, as a private citizen or subject of whatever nation, really have? How can you cope with this. mind bending nuclear age? What are your chances of survival? What are the options left open to you?
Building private civil defense shelters seems pretty impractical in this day and age."Escaping" to the mountains or the desert would probably only bring you an early death from exposure. Is there no way out of the nuclear dilemma?
Here is some good news! You are not going to live in a world like today's — under the shadow of the bomb — very much longer. A new world is going to come soon — a world of peace and genuine cooperation among the nations; a world where our young people will never again be sacrificed in senseless wars.
But, before that, a time of great suffering and tribulation is coming. Each one of us needs to watch carefully (Luke 21:36) what is happening in the world so we know where we stand. The good news is some are going to escape and live on into the wonderful world tomorrow!
Your only real recourse is to do personally what this world's governments refuse to do. Trust God! Jesus said: "Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man." Are you willing to do that?
Personally, I am. But, in the meantime, every night following a busy day in this great Work of warning our peoples, I curl up and go to sleep — on a great big nuclear-tipped bomb. I only hope that somehow we can prevent the stupid thing from going off!