And when he had opened the second seal, I heard the second beast say, come and see. 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. (Revelation 6:3, 4)
When the second seal is opened it reveals a red horse and rider. This illustrates that peace will be removed from the earth and open conflict will break out everywhere. Of course, we have seen war throughout history, and even today, it is a constant threat worldwide. But in that day, this will be a war that will be unparallel to anything that has happened in the past. God will allow this to take place as part of His judgment upon the earth.
One of the things that many take for granted or donít understand, it is by the grace of God that this type of nuclear catastrophe has not taken place already. If we were given a glimpse of what has gone on in the various war rooms around the world it would shock us. God has placed His sovereign hand of protection on the world, but shortly, it will be removed.
Although the antichrist will come in peace, his plans will see resistance and worldwide war will break out. It isnít known which nations will take part in this war, but they will be no match and will be soundly defeated.
This victory by the antichrist will cause the nations to fear and tremble. Many will be mesmerized by his accomplishments and the speed of his ascension. But the damage from the war will be staggering and many of the effects will be irreversible. Life will definitely be changed forever from that day forward.
Following the war, the antichrist will set up his headquarters in Rome. This will become both the political and religious capital of the world. It is my belief that the world religions will unite under one religious order and exercise great political influence for the first three and a half years. But at the beginning of the second half, the false prophet will rise up out of this false religious order and betray her.
If I were to predict how far into the tribulation period we are when war will break out, I would say about two or three years.