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—National Archives
Prediction of Two World Wars

The Prediction

The following vision of Mrs. White was originally published in the Second Advent Review and Sabbath Herald of August 21, 1861.

I was shown the inhabitants of the earth in the utmost confusion. There was war, bloodshed, want, privation, famine and pestilence, in the land; and as these things were without, God's people began to press together, and cast aside their little difficulties. Self-dignity no longer controlled them. Deep humility took its place. Suffering, perplexity and privation, caused reason to resume its throne, and the passionate and unreasonable man became sane, and acted with discretion and wisdom.

My attention was then called from the scene. There seemed to be a little time of peace. Then the inhabitants of the earth were again presented before me, and everything was in the utmost confusion again. Strife, war and bloodshed, with famine and pestilence, raged everywhere. Other nations were engaged in this confusion and war. War caused famine. Want and bloodshed caused pestilence. And then men's hearts will fail them for fear, "and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth."

(Testimonies for the Church, vol. 1, p. 268)

What Took Place

This remarkable prediction is rather straightforward. It speaks of two world wars, separated by a little time of peace. There were indeed two world wars and a little time of peace during the last century:

1. World War I (1914-1918)
2. Little Time of Peace  (1918-1939)
3. World War II (1939-1945)

Notice how also the vision predicted that the second war would involve more nations than the first war. At least twenty-eight nations fought in World War I, and at least fifty-eight in World War II.

History tells us that these wars were deadly, as the vision also indicated:

The world wars were almost unprecedented in their slaughter, carnage, and destruction, as mechanized armies of millions of soldiers destroyed both each other and the territories they were fighting over. The 40,000,000-50,000,000 deaths incurred in World War II make it the bloodiest conflict as well as the largest war in history.
("The World Wars," 1999 Britannica CD)

In the vision's descriptions of both wars, famine and pestilence are emphasized. This was also a characteristic of both wars:

Civilian deaths from land battles, aerial bombardment, political and racial executions, war-induced disease and famine, and the sinking of ships probably exceeded battle casualties.
(Ibid.)

Some scientists, though not all, attribute the deadliness of the influenza pandemic of 1918 to the deprivation of the world war. That pandemic took the lives of seventy million people worldwide.

One last point could be mentioned. The vision said:

And then men's hearts will fail them for fear, "and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth."
(emphasis supplied)

Needless to say, the world wars brought us astounding technological advances in weaponry. Particularly at the very end of World War II was this true, with the development of the atomic bomb. That weapon has inspired perhaps more fear than any other. Indeed, at this very time, nations threaten other nations with war to ensure that the number of nations possessing nuclear weapons does not increase.

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