Armageddon - Is it about to happen soon?
Armegeddon is supposed to be the "Final Battle" fought on the plains of Meggido in Israel. But have we interpreted the prophecy correctly, or has the final battle before Jesus' return already been fought? Or have we misinterpreted the reason for gathering on the plain of Meggido?
Armageddon and the battle against Gog and Magog are sometimes thought to be the same battle, but this cannot be the case because the latter is to be fought after the "Millenial Reign", when the 1000 years are ended and "Satan must be loosed for a while"
This being the case Gog and Magog are on the New Earth, which is not our old earth rebuilt, but a completely new one, far away! If you have not already done so, read about The New Earth now, before continuing, to see why it is not our present earth which has been nenewed and why it is far, far away!
So, leaving aside the question of Gog and Magog, there is only one mention in the Bible of "Armageddon and even the account of this is often misquoted.
Here is an extract from the Jehovah's Witness website: It says:
The word “Armageddon” occurs only once in the Bible, at Revelation 16:16. Prophetically, Revelation shows that at “the place that is called in Hebrew Armageddon,” “the kings of the entire inhabited earth” will be gathered “together to the war of the great day of God the Almighty.”—Revelation 16:14.
Revelation 16:14 The King James version of the Bible, does not use the words: entire inhabited world. It says "the kings of the world and the whole earth", which is absolutely not the same thing, as we will discuss later.
Nor does the King James version use the word the word "war". It says "battle" and although this might be thought of as "splitting hairs" there is a vast difference. A battle can be just a contest, or even an argument over custody! A war is armed conflict!
The JW article continues:
The battle of Armageddon refers to the final war between human governments and God. These governments and their supporters oppose God even now by refusing to submit to his rulership. (Psalm 2:2) The battle of Armageddon will bring human rulership to an end.—Daniel 2:44.
Who says this refers to a war between human goverments and God? This is pure invention on the part of the author of this article! The two excerpts from Psalms and Daniel have no obvious connection with Armageddon and are merely anecdotes about some predicted war or another.
Don't let them pull the wool over your eyes! They often have no more idea than you do what these prophecies mean!
BUT: Armageddon is supposed to be a war on earth which immediately precedes Jesus' marrival, so how can He be involved in the battle?
These enemies include those who oppose God’s authority and who treat God with contempt.—Ezekiel 39:7.
Click the links for yourself and you will see that the quotation from Ezekiel says nothing which could possibly be identified with a "final battle" and the quotations from Revelation can be identified with the invasion of Iraq in 2003.
The article continues:
Armageddon, sometimes rendered “Har–Magedon” (Hebrew Har Meghiddohnʹ), means “Mountain of Megiddo.” Megiddo was once a city in the territory of ancient Israel. History tells of decisive battles that were fought in its vicinity, including some that are recorded in the Bible. (Judges 5:19, 20; 2 Kings 9:27; 23:29) However, Armageddon cannot refer to the literal area near ancient Megiddo. There is no large mountain there, and even the entire adjoining Low Plain of Jezreel could not contain all those who will fight against God. Instead, Armageddon is the worldwide situation in which the nations assemble in their last stand against rule by God.
Why then call it the War of Amageddon? If an interpretation of a prophecy runs into difficulty, as they often do, perhaps one should then re-examine the interpretation to see if it's wrong!
The narrative continues:
What will conditions be like during the battle of Armageddon? - While we do not know how God will use his power, he will have at his disposal weapons such as those he has used in the past—hail, earthquake, flooding downpour, fire and sulfur, lightning, and disease. (Job 38:22, 23; Ezekiel 38:19, 22; Habakkuk 3:10, 11; Zechariah 14:12) In confusion, at least some of God’s enemies will kill each other, yet they will ultimately realize that it is God who is fighting against them.—Ezekiel 38:21, 23; Zechariah 14:13.
I haven't even bothered to check the quotations because they are going to be no more relevant than those already examined! And the "weapons" at God's disposal namely: "hail, earthquake, fire sulfur,and lightning, have all been shown as characteristic of normal warfare with aeroplanes attacking ground targets using guns rockets and missiles and the resulting explosions appearing, to ancient observers like John, to be earthquakes. See the Gulf War
And the final nonsense says:
Will Armageddon be the end of the world? It will not be the end of our planet, since the earth is mankind’s eternal home. (Psalm 37:29;96:10; Ecclesiastes 1:4) Rather than destroying humanity, Armageddon actually saves it, because “a great crowd” of God’s servants will survive.—Revelation 7:9, 14; Psalm 37:34
I'm not sure that I understand this reasoning but if Jehovah's Witnesses believe that the earth is "mankind’s eternal home", why is Jesus returning to remove us from this earth and take us to the place he has prepared for us because this earth is about to be destroyed?
Mark 13:20 ...except those days be shortened there would be no life left.......
According to this scenario, all God has to do is "rapture" the ones he wants to save and just leave the others to whatever natural disaster is about to wipe them all out! There is no need for Him and all His angels to fight the whole world, they are all doomed anyway!
As I said before, if the questions are too many and the answers nonsensical, then we had better start looking for a different and more sensible interpretation.
So where and when, if at all, is the gathering at Armeggon going to happen. Is it even a battle as we know it and if not, what is it?
We need first to understand who are the "kings of the earth" because as the JW website says, there would not be enough room at Meggido to accomodate all the literal kings of the earth. But the Book of Revelation has twice indicated who the "kings of the earth" are.
Firstly in the Angel of the Bottomless Pit it was said "they had a king over them whose name was Abaddon" and we identified him as Osama Bin Laden the infamous terrorist leader.
In the Last Seven Plagues the 6th plague was poured over the River Euphrates and its waters were dried up, to "prepare the way" for the "kings of the east". It seems, with hindsight, that terrorist groups from Afghanistan to the east of Iraq have certainly taken over large areas of of the country and if the leaders of a terrorist group can be referred to as "kings" then the "kings of the east" have certainly entered Iraq.
Now, add to this the prophecy of the "king of the north" and the "king of the south" attacking each other, then the "kings of the earth" coming to Meggido to do battle would make sense, whereas the "kings of the entire world" would not. There would, as the JW site says be too many of them to fight a war at Meggido. Perhaps they should have looked more carefully before they changed the translation from "kings of the world and and the whole earth", to "kings of the entire world".
Fighting against the "kings of the earth" could be what might be considered to be the "whole earth" in the forn of The United Nations, representative of the "whole world". There would then be a reason to fight this battle at Megiddo because that is where the terrorists are and that is where the UN must fight them.
This is not a worldwide conflagration as previously thought but a local, if extremely serious, one for Israel.
Does the fighting actually start, or does the arrival of the New Jerusalem stop the war before it starts? Unfortunately no one, as we have said before, can explain a prophecy before it happens, so maybe the explanation above is not the correct one. We shall have to wait and see.