What Is Armageddon?
What is Armageddon? Is it World War iii? Will it be America and Britain fighting against Russia? Television commentators and other pundits bring up this subject often, but the true meaning of Armageddon would shock most people! If we don’t understand Armageddon, we can’t understand the Bible’s most critical prophecies, and we could easily start believing the fables of this world.
You might be surprised to learn that Armageddon is mentioned in the Bible only once: “And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. For they are the spirits of devils [demons], working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty. Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame. And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon” (Revelation 16:13-16).
Demonic spirits are now stirring up worldwide warfare. They are even prophesied to possess three prominent human leaders! Do we have the courage to face these biblical truths?
Three demons resembling frogs coming out of the mouths of Satan (the dragon), a bloody political empire (the beast), and a false religious leader (the false prophet)—that’s alarming imagery! Satan and his demons have been cast down and confined to Earth in this end time—no longer are they free to roam the universe (Revelation 12:9). They have never been more wrathful. If the world understood this, it would be very afraid!
A fascist government is rising in Europe today—a revival of the Babylonian system pictured in Daniel 7 and Revelation 13 and 17. It will cause problems like we have never even imagined.
Think about this: Satan has the power to influence people heavily and, more than that, to possess them, speak through them, and infuse them with his power! He will use the beast and the false prophet of Revelation 16 to perform deadly miracles. He is the god of this world (2 Corinthians 4:4). He and his demons infest the Earth. They are the cause of the unprecedented problems now facing humanity. Demon possession is a serious problem!
A Gathering Place
In November-December 1955 Plain Truth article titled “What Is Armageddon?” Herbert W. Armstrong wrote:
First, notice that “Armageddon” is a Hebrew word, not an English word. Actually, the Hebrew word is “Har Magedon” or “Har Megiddo.” In the Hebrew, the H’s are usually not pronounced, and so are often omitted in the spelling in English. Megiddo is in the Valley of Jezreel, some 70 miles northwest of Jerusalem, just in from the port of Haifa.
The Hebrew prefix “Har” means “fortified,” or “fortified hill.” Between World War i and World War ii, the British fortified Haifa at a cost of many millions of dollars. Consequently, Megiddo (or Magedon) has now become, in fact, Armageddon!
People talk about the battle of Armageddon, but it’s really the “battle of the great day of God Almighty.” There is no battle of Armageddon. Armageddon is a specific location. It is a gathering place for the great armies of this world. God will then lead them down to Jerusalem and fight them there.
We are discussing phenomenal acts of God! We have brought doom upon ourselves by the way we live and by creating weapons of mass destruction. Such weapons are always used!
Abomination of Desolation
Matthew 24 is about the sequence of end-time events that precedes the return of Jesus Christ to this Earth in power and glory. It reveals one key sign of looming trouble: “When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)” (verse 15).
Luke’s gospel account provides more clarity: “And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh” (Luke 21:20). The abomination of desolation is when European armies—not Arab armies—surround Jerusalem, under the guise of keeping the peace between Muslims and Jews. But actually, this European power will be a resurrection of the Holy Roman Empire, poised to destroy the world! Led by Germany, they will start World War iii. This time, however, they will be destroyed forever by God Himself.
The Day of the Lord
“The great day of the Lord is near, it is near, and hasteth greatly, even the voice of the day of the Lord: the mighty man shall cry there bitterly. That day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness” (Zephaniah 1:14-15). The Day of the Lord is the climax of the coming worldwide destruction.
“Behold, the day of the Lord cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee. For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city. Then shall the Lord go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle. And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east …” (Zechariah 14:1-4). The coming suffering and curses are tied directly to the return of Jesus Christ! It’s all one package! By declaring the bad news, we’re also declaring the good news of the coming Kingdom of God!
The violent events of Revelation follow a precise time sequence, just like Matthew 24. First comes the 2½-year period of Satan’s wrath, the Great Tribulation. Second are the heavenly signs: “The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the Lord come” (Joel 2:31). God sends these supernatural signs before the Day of the Lord. The Earth will convulse with tidal waves and earthquakes (Revelation 6:12-17; Luke 21:25-26). God will disrupt the heavens and the Earth. This is no routine warning! Madmen will not conquer this world like they plan to; they are no match for God’s infinite power.
Immediately after the heavenly signs comes the one-year period of God’s wrath, the Day of the Lord. “Howl ye; for the day of the Lord is at hand; it shall come as a destruction from the Almighty. Therefore shall all hands be faint, and every man’s heart shall melt: And they shall be afraid: pangs and sorrows shall take hold of them; they shall be in pain as a woman that travaileth: they shall be amazed one at another; their faces shall be as flames. Behold, the day of the Lord cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it. For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine. And I will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible” (Isaiah 13:6-11).
Human beings will be howling like suffering wolves because of the intense agony! There’s only one way to be protected: Submit to God now and help deliver His warning message. God warns and warns and warns, even after the Great Tribulation through the spectacular heavenly signs, yet mankind still won’t repent! Human suffering is the result of unwillingness to obey God.
“[F]or sore anguish will come upon the land and Wrath on this people; they will fall by the edge of the sword, they will be carried prisoners to all nations, and Jerusalem will be under the heel of the Gentiles till the period of the Gentiles expires” (Luke 21:23-24; Moffatt translation).
God asks in Ezekiel 33:11, “[W]hy will ye die, O house of Israel?” All nations will be punished, but God will punish the nations of Israel—primarily America, Britain and the Jewish nation—first.
Jesus Christ is tired of mankind’s wickedness! He will soon return and stop all suffering, ruling with a rod of iron. “And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever” (Revelation 11:15).
We need God to solve our problems! Soon, God will fill the Earth with happiness and joy! This will happen after He has ended the massacre of the Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord. This is reality—you can be sure of it!