I have been considering this word "Armageddon". Webster's Dictionary says: "The place where the final battle will be fought between the forces of good and evil. The last and complete destructive battle." This word Armageddon is sometimes used by military officers or news commentators to describe some warlike event that may portend the last great battle. General MacArthur said, "If we do not devise some greater and more equitable means of settling disputes among nations, Armageddon will be at our door."
I appreciate General MacArthur's view of things. He seemed to see that Armageddon is caused by someone and not some happenstance event. He seemed also to include the Western powers as contributing factors in the Armageddon equation.
Many with a Christian doctrinal view, along with some other religious persuasions, seem to have a great investment these days in a good Armageddon. This, they believe, would usher in the millennium. The temple would be built again in Jerusalem and Jesus would rule the world. I am not placing these events in any order since many Christians have so many varying explanations of the last years, that it would be too confusing to consider them all.
The year 2,000 is coming and there are multitudes who view this year as a year of apocalypse. It is really no different than any other year, but it looks different. There are predictions of comets and large meteorites crashing into the earth. The rise of the Antichrist is foretold by some. This Antichrist would have control of the world and persecute Christians. Everyone seems to be looking forward to some event, but no one seems to see it in the events that are occurring at this time. They wait for something reasonable and understandable to their fantastic minds. They look for a great individual of horror as so well portrayed in the modern movie industry. Morning cartoons describe an evil empire seeking to engulf the world. The villains always have a fiendish look on their faces. Children view their cartoon idols sweeping away the refuge of evil. It sure looks like a battle is brewing.
If the reader might bear with me, I would like to suggest a possible scenario somewhat different and more fearful than those just mentioned. I don't mean to conjure up a conspiracy and place a few dates in line with numerous imagined events transpiring on those dates. What I mean to do is show what we can already see if we will simply open our eyes. What we can already see is terrifying enough.
When Jesus was born, many people all over the world were expecting a Messiah. The 490-year prophecy of Daniel which predicted the Messiah was coming to an end and the Roman oppression was very great on the people. Taxes were high and for the slightest infraction the government would crack down hard. The Biblical record speaks of thousands of young children slaughtered by the Romans because Herod feared a rival. There were even numerous foreign Magi (astrologers) portending the coming of a promised one also. When these observers of the heavens saw an omen, it says they followed the star and they came to where the Messiah was. The problem is, that when the event occurred, hardly anyone of His own people recognized Him. In fact, He was unlawfully murdered later on for having unpopular views about God. The religious powers who rode upon the back of the Roman power used false witnesses and concocted a fantastic story in order to have Jesus executed. Secular history hardly mentions the event. It is my proposal to the reader that history is repeating itself.
Again, today, men are expecting the end of the world as we know it. They are looking for some kind of Messiah. They await the millennium. The condition of our own government is much like the time of Christ's birth. The government produces false witnesses for the prosecution of some of its perceived enemies. It has become oppressive and it has killed many children of those it considers threatening. The terror I speak of is the terror of realization that the monster one sees in the mirror is himself. It is the terror of wolfman who appears quite all right most of the time but, at certain seasons, he becomes a monster.
These days it seems the whole world, quite in spite of themselves, observes a day called Christmas after this Messiah which appeared 2,000 years ago, quite unrecognized in His own time. It also seems that the whole world quite in spite of themselves observes a seven-day weekly cycle which is only found in Scripture; and is it not strange that this year 2,000 only has its roots in the birth of Jesus who proclaimed Himself king of the Jews. It seems that men cannot ignore God no matter how hard they work at it. The Bible still ends up sticking out all over even if modern men do whatever they do to stomp it into the mud.
When Jesus came with His message and was dispatched because of it, the nation was so out of harmony with His mission that they tried to create a messiah after their own expectations. After the death of Jesus, there were many saviors or messiahs who came to deliver the Jews from the Romans as they expected one would. They took the work into their own hands and over time managed to cause the destruction of themselves and their beloved city. They were going to create a Messiah according to their minds if it killed them and it did. Jerusalem was destroyed in 70 A.D.
We might recognize a similar phenomenon today regarding Armageddon. The word Armageddon is used only once in the Bible but most knowledgeable scholars do not know what it means for certain. They can only guess. I think the point of this editorial is to deal with it the way we use it today. What men think Armageddon is, is coming and it is coming like a self-fulfilled prophecy. It appears that men today, both religious and secular, are doing all in their power to create Armageddon. It seems so necessary to their religious and national glory that they will lie, cheat and steal in order to bring it to pass. The great terror battle of the end of the world, which almost seems fictional, is forming before our very eyes and few men take knowledge of it.
The Scriptures say, "And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon." (Revelation 16:16, KJV). I think most people miss the point when they read this. If one goes to Israel these days with one of the traveling evangelist tour groups, he may be shown the valley of Meggido. The tour guide may even describe how the Russian and Moslem coalition is going to attack Israel. This religious narrator may then describe the secret attempts of Syria to bring destruction to Israel through various and nefarious measures. Within the scenario will be the description of how the U.S. will join with Israel and, after much bloodshed, be victorious in the war. Of course, the U.S. will be on the noble side, and it sure sounds good since the war will be fought "over there." America will be nice and safe "over here" and then the Messiah will come and all the world will enter into a thousand years of peace. This description takes on different forms depending on who you talk to, but it comes down to this generally.
I think if one simply puts away his views of some glorious battle, he will have to come up with some sobering realities. Speaking of this event the Scriptures also say, "For the Lord shall rise up as in mount Perazim, he shall be wroth as in the valley of Gibeon, that he may do his work, his strange work; and bring to pass his act, his strange act. Now therefore be ye not mockers, lest your bands be made strong: for I have heard from the Lord God of hosts a consumption, even determined upon the whole earth." (Isaiah 28:21-22, KJV).
To put this in modern English it is saying, "God will raise Himself up in the mountain and in the valley (Armageddon) and He will do His strange work of separating the nations from Him. For He has determined an annihilation even upon the whole earth." This sure does not sound good, but it is what it says. Let no man tell you this is a different battle than Armageddon. It is not.
General MacArthur warned of this battle but he was fired. That is what we do with people who warn us. We burn them. We did not take his warning and the scenario is working itself out quite obviously. In the past few days ABC News began unveiling some of the nuclear devices this nation has secretly produced over the years. The U.S. has produced nuclear bombs which could be carried in backpacks or others that might be fired from portable launchers. The records will also show that the U.S. has been the champion of creating the most horrific weapons of mass destruction that might be imagined. Saddam's little bathroom full of anthrax does not compare to the arsenal of U.S. anthrax.
As already mentioned, the professed Christian religion almost seems eager for a war in the Middle East so they can get on with their glorious reign with the Lord. This is playing itself out in the political arena quite ably. President Clinton has almost been comical in his portrayal of Saddam. He has warned until his throat is sore about all of Saddam's weapons of mass destruction. It is as if he is trying to make a reason that we might take him out. As reported in an earlier WINDS article, the president has also changed the rules for nuclear weapons use. Now, if this nation only believes some other nation might possibly use some gas or bugs against us, we reserve the right to use nuclear weapons on them before they get a chance to use any of those things we imagine they have. This nation has little considered that the great enemy of men comes in with a smile, speaking love to the masses, while all the time planning for the suffering of humanity to gain his goals. The citizens of this nation say, he is on our side, he can't be the bad man. Oh, yes, it says, "all the world wondered after the beast." They wonder after because they are led to believe he is good. The forces of evil these days go to church, believe in Santa, have a dog, bless the children and smile a lot. Americans are deceived by this acting which is so common in governmental affairs. We expect the devil to have a pitchfork and tail. We don't recognize him when he comes with angel wings and a halo on his head.
If this nation's leaders can make another sovereign state seem dangerous, it will go ahead and take it out with nuclear weapons first while all the time staying calm and collected, explaining to the news cameras how necessary it all is for world peace. Those in power make those who do not bow the knee seem dangerous. Only the insane believe that world peace comes out of such a philosophy. Looking at the whole circus from a distance it almost seems as though Saddam is being set up for the big burn which will turn the Middle East into a field of blood to the horses' bridles. One would wonder why Christianity, the religion of the humble Jesus, would so readily send its young men off to Desert Storm to kill and then keep a supply of yellow ribbons for their return. I wonder if Jesus would do that. I never did find that verse where Jesus said we should nuke our enemies and starve their children. If the reader finds that verse, send it over. Even so, this religion rides on the back of the beast.
As for me, it is no mystery. The Scriptures tell how it is all set up. "So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet colored beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet color, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication." (Revelation 17:3-4, KJV). That scarlet-colored beast is the beast who now rules over the earth with great riches. The professed Christian church, which has turned into a spiritual whore, now rides on this beast's back. She is the woman mentioned. She encourages the beast along because she has certain unholy aspirations. The Scriptures don't mention the yellow ribbons, but they do mention the cup full of all the abominations and filthiness of the earth. She looks pretty, as most churches do, but her heart is full of all uncleanness and dead men's bones. She would love to see the Moslem hordes fried and the Dome of the Rock freed up for a new temple all dedicated to the true God. The news media is preparing us for this making sure we know that the Moslems are making slaves of some Christian blacks in Africa. Of course, it's the Moslems who are behind all of the terrorist bombings as well. The whore and the beast are riding along together quite in harmony at the present time. This serves the beast quite well. The new order thinks it needs Armageddon to bring the world more firmly and irretrievably under the power of a single world state, though it won't end up that way.
The managing editor of Foreign Affairs, the publication of the Council on Foreign Relations, stated that far from the Iraqi situation being a "failure of diplomacy in the Middle East," he says,"nothing could be farther from the truth. If Saddam Hussein did not exist, we would have to invent him. He is the linchpin of American policy in the Mideast." It appears that the beast would have to invent an Armageddon if it could not get one to occur naturally.
Armageddon has a precursor. The Bible says, "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, working miracles (wonders), 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." (Revelation 16:13-14, KJV). Men wonder at this horrible event but they need not trouble themselves with wondering. The three unclean spirits come from the dragon (Satan-adversarial spirit), the beast (the United Nations) and the false prophet (the United States). There is only one power who now rules the earth in any real sense and that is the U.N. The U.N. pretends to be benign, but it is far from it. The U.N. has a prophet and that prophet is the U.S. and out of all of these entities comes an adversarial spirit or, in other words, a dragon spirit. The word Satan simply means adversary. This is the spirit which creates and speaks for the need to punish the little bad foe in the Middle East. This Satanic spirit is now gathering the nations of the earth to a final conflict, not only to enslave the people of earth, but also to cause the destruction of the true religion of Christ.
We can see the great efforts these powers have waged to bring down true religious faith. Almost every avenue of modern government and entertainment mocks God. Federal laws keep Christianity out of the schools as much as possible. Conscience is no more respected by government. All men seem to be rushing into the lake of fire which only awaits their pushing of the button. There is something interesting in all this. The Scriptures say, "And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever." (Revelation 20:10, KJV). No one seems to mention that the fire they will get to go into to be tormented is the fire that they made for themselves. They push the button.
The churches seem to think there is a big reward for them when they get the beast to get on with the program, but they will have, as men say, a rude awakening. "And the ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire." (Revelation 17:16, KJV). Yes, modern, popular religion will be one of the casualties of the beast and in Armageddon everything that is earthly will be a casualty. But then, they permitted themselves to be gathered on the wrong side for the great battle. When the president speaks before the U.N. and invites the nations of the earth to join with him in ridding the Middle East of his enemies, you are watching the "gathering" foretold so long ago and the great religions say, amen.
I received an E-mail the other day from someone who asked when I thought the end would happen. I would say about now. That is, it is happening about now but, of course, I do not know when the end will be finished. Probably just about the time the president pushes that button. That should finish the ending. Perhaps the writer of that E-mail should ask him when he plans to push that button. We Americans always thought some evil country would drop a bomb on us, but it did not occur to us that we might be the one to drop a bomb on them. "We have seen the enemy and he is us."
President Bush stated he would like to see everything in place for the New World Order by the year 2,000. Perhaps we shall see these madmen pushing their buttons before then. There will be an Armageddon; the Scriptures say there will be, but poor deluded men will come to realize it did not turn out as they thought. It will be the end of them and their glorious dreams as well.
As said in the beginning, Armageddon is the battle between the forces of good and the forces of evil. If the battle is to be fought, who are the good guys? Is Russia? No. Is it the United States? Certainly no. Is it Israel? No. There is none good, no not one. Again, the Scriptures say, "These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful." (Revelation 17:14, KJV). Simply stated, the Lamb is the good one. He is the one the whole world is gathered against.
This is the real Armageddon. It is the battle not involving the East and the West or the Christians and the Muslims. It is the battle between all of these evil forces and God. The whole earth is arrayed against Him, but He will overcome them. How does He overcome them? He sadly lets them go ahead and blow themselves up with the Armageddon they so desperately want. This is that "strange" act we have read about. For centuries He has been saving our necks while interceding for us. That has been His normal act, but now He will do His strange act and let us do ourselves in. All those wonderful dreams of temples and glory will all go up in a grand radioactive smoke. I wonder what the T.V. evangelists will say in that day. I guess there won't be any. "But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up." (2 Peter 3:10, KJV).
I think I'll skip Merry Christmas and simply say, welcome to the real world! Oh, by the way, it should be mentioned that those who have watched and prayed, those who have kept their garments, those who have not ridden on the back of this nefarious beast, those who have not been in the arms of the whore supporting the beast's unholy crusade, will escape. They need not fear, for their Savior will bear them up as on eagle's wings. "Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast." (Isaiah 26:20, KJV).
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