Some of you may laugh. “Ha, ha,” you say, “everyone knows that Armageddon is not a ‘who’”. But the joke may be on you.
If you look at the broad picture, how many people in the world know who, or what Armageddon is? Five percent? One percent? And how many have heard the word “Armageddon” somewhere, but have no idea what it is? (Just that we’re supposed to be afraid of it.) I dare say that the ones who don’t know anything about what “Armageddon” means is a far larger group than the ones who do understand that word.
If you’ve heard of Armageddon but don’t know what it’s about, what’s written here is for you. In short, “Armageddon” means “hill of Megiddo”. So it’s not a “who”; it’s a “what”. It’s a rather small hill that’s in the plains of Megiddo in the north of modern Israel.
“Why is everyone talking about that and trying to get everyone afraid?” you ask. Here’s why. In the book of Revelations in the Bible, it says the final cataclysmic event before the return of Jesus to the earth will take place at that location in Israel, the hill of Megiddo, “Armageddon”.
So that word has come to signify the final events before the return of Jesus to the earth. And sadly, it’s often referred to as “the end of the world”. Even in the dictionary I just looked in, when looking up Armageddon, it used the phrase “the end of the world”.
My friends, that phrase, “the end of the world”, is not really helpful or accurate. I grew up during the nuclear arms race in the 1960’s and we’d regularly have drills in school to prepare for a full nuclear attack on our country. “The end of the world” was very real then and that’s not the kind of thing the Bible predicts, the utter destruction and end of our planet and humanity.
A better way to describe what the Bible predicts would be to say, “the end of the age.” It will certainly be that. But this “end of the world” phrase is just another thing that scoffers and mockers use to exaggerate and ridicule Bible prophecy.
So then you could ask, “If Armageddon is the catchall term for the return of Jesus and the coming of God’s Kingdom on earth, if it’s not the end of the world, what is it?” Well, like I was saying, it will be the end of the age, and the biggest change humanity has seen in thousands of years. And it wasn’t just Jesus that told about this.
To me, one of the best and simplest explanations of all this is found in chapter 2 of the book of Daniel in the Old Testament. I’ve made a 27 minute video on this chapter and you can view it by clicking here. God gave a dream to the leader of the emerging world power at that time, Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. But then God made it so that Nebuchadnezzar couldn’t remember it.
As it turned out, a young Hebrew captive of Babylon, Daniel, was able to tell Nebuchadnezzar both what he dreamed and what it meant. Nebuchadnezzar had seen a strange statue of different kinds of metal, gold, silver, brass and iron. Then in his dream he saw a stone which struck the statue and turned it to dust. And the stone itself turned into a great mountain that filled the whole earth.
Young Daniel told Nebuchadnezzar that the statue and the various metals represented his kingdom of Babylon and the kingdoms that would come after his. But the stone that struck the statue, destroying it and then filling the whole earth represented the coming Kingdom of God on earth, a kingdom that God Himself would ultimately bring and cause to take root right here in our world. The climax of Daniel’s explanation to Nebuchadnezzar is found in Daniel 2:44. It says there, In the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed. And the kingdom shall not be left to other people. But it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms. And it shall stand forever.
This basically sums up in a beautiful, hopeful way what’s eventually going to happened in our world, and what God has been foretelling for many centuries. Armageddon is just going to be a major physical location in the very final physical events of the end of this age and the beginning of the next. The big picture is that the nations of earth will eventually be overcome and brought into subjection by the kingdom of God Himself in the person of His son, Jesus.
If you get a chance to watch the video on Daniel Chapter 2, you can see there how what took place is like God’s explanation Himself to Nebuchadnezzar, someone for whom this was all really new. Maybe like you. I hope this is some help. I look forward to sharing more with you about all this.
Your friend, Mark