A PLACE CALLED ARMAGEDDON
THE NAME DEFINED
The Late T.A. Price U.K., The National Message
STUDENTS of theology have for generations been gripped in their imagination by the word Armageddon which occurs but once in the Bible, in chapter 16 of the Risen Lord's Revelation to St. John. It terminates the symbolic Sixth Vial of the vision and forms a precursive statement to the terminal Seventh Vial..this is wholly concerned with the destruction of Babylon the Great and the Judgment which flows from this at all levels and in all phases of that counterfeit system. The secular world has seized upon the word and has used it as a cryptic synonym by which to describe the final world conflict. There is no Scriptural warrant for this, if one considers the context as a whole.
Some of the erroneous usages of the word "Armageddon" include such definitions as: 'Site of the great end of the world battlefield of the Apocalypse'; 'Atomic Armageddon'; 'Will the next war be Armageddon?'; Armageddon occurred in the holocaust of the FirstWorld War'.
The Bible gives Armageddon a designated place in the future of the Divine Purpose and the two verses, 15 and 16, of chapter 16 of Revelation should be seen
"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,"
This geographical site is the place into which those who are blessed are gathered, for clearly the antecedent of the personal pronoun 'them' refers us back to the immediate subject. Geographically the Sixth Vial is wholly a Middle Eastern concern, for it is poured out on "the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared." The disappearance of the Ottoman Empire, in both secular and religious expression, occurred as a result of the First World War, with the fall of the Sultanate, which was secular, and the abolition of the Caliphate, which was religious. We can now see that this set the stage for the great Asian Continental initiative. This took the form of "three unclean spirits which came out of the dragon, out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the false prophet, for they are the spirits of devils working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth, and of the whole world to gather them to the battle of the great day of God Almighty."
The gatllering of all nations to battle, according to chapter 14 of the prophet Zechariah, is a gathering against Jerusalem which is nowhere near to the place called Armageddon.
The definition of the word is therefore seen to be a locality about eighty miles removed from the place where, in chapter 21 of St. Luke's Gospel,our Lord Jesus
Christ urges us to observe Jerusalem being "compassed with armies". Verse 27 of the same chapter associates this event with "the coming of the Son of man in a cloud with power and great glory". The first twenty eight verses of this chapter should be read in this connection, for Jerusalem is plainly to be seen at the focal point of aggressive assault, whilst Armageddon has a different purpose. Megiddo is the mountain, whilst the prefix AR or HAR qualifies the place as 'fortified' thus, it is a geographical, fortified place, lying behind the coast with Mount Carmel at the head of the seaward approach, to the plain behind.
The Illustrated London News of 9th May1942 carried a centre spread which was a Hitler's eye view of the Near and Middle East from Berchtesgarden. This map showed the field of Armageddon marked behind the port of Haifa. Clearly, a strict usage of terminology is the only way to arrive at the Scriptural truth of the matter and the Bible defines it as a place. Modern journalism uses the word correctly when it produces maps, but popular idiom often uses it loosely and contradicts the Scriptures.
Smiths Smaller Bible Dictionary gives the hill or city of Megiddo as the scene of the struggle of good and evil and this is suggested by the fact that the place had been a battlefield previously. The Plain of Esdraelon was famous for two great victories, involving the defeat of Sisera the Canaanite and Gideon's rout of the Midianites, and also for two great disasters, the deaths of Saul and Jonathan and the defeat of king Josiah.
Cruden's Complete Concordance refers to the 'Mountain of Megiddo' or the 'Mountain of the Gospel', otherwise the Mountain of Fruits or of Apples. It also refers to Esdraelon as the Valley of Jezreel, or the Royal City. The Valley of Jezreel extends as a great plain across the centre of Palestine; it is triangular in shape with its Western entrance at Akka, which means a 'door of hope'.
The Battle of the Great Day of God Almighty involves the 'kings of the earth' the whole world. This lies yet in the future, for we are still awaiting the precursive event of the Second Advent. The gathering of the 'blessed ones' with their kept garments has still to be fulfilled. We may therefore say with justification that the place has to be their sanctuary. The gathering of 'all nations to Jerusalem', where they may encompass it with their armies, is still in the future and lying against the northern foothills of the Judean mountains, considerably removed in location and to the south east of Armageddon. For the event itself we may use the terms: the Dayof the Lord; that Great Day; the Day of Judgment; the Day of Trouble; the Day of His Appearing; the Battle of that Great Day of God Almighty. In no sense may we transpose these terms with the place Armageddon or give Armageddon an historic setting.
An example of the absurdity of this would be if one were to refer to Waterloo at the time of Agincourt as a battle instead of referring to it as a village. In conclusion,
Christians should ensure the precise usage of Scriptural terminology, which in the light of current affairs, is vital if we are correctly to interpret the concluding events of this age and therefore avoid confusion of the issue.
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