- Religion and Philosophy
The Apocalypse and Armageddon Connection
When Jesus was here on earth, his disciples would ask Him how people would know when the end of the world was near. Jesus answered them with the following list: false prophets will arise, there will be wars and rumors of war, and there will be widespread famines and earthquakes. Maybe the best prediction came from the apostle Paul, who said, in II Timothy 3:1-5,7:
"But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God; holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth."
This seems to describe perfectly what is going on in the world today, especially to those who feel we are currently living in the Last Days. Prophecy told in the Bible tells how the army of Christ will fight enemies of the Antichrist in the Battle of Armageddon. No date or time is told as to when this battle will occur. Armageddon has been closely associated with the beginning of the End Times, and thought of as an event. Truthfully, Armageddon is really an actual place.
The name Armageddon is derived from the Hebrew "Har Megiddo". "Har" means "hill" and "Megiddo" makes reference to the ancient city of Tell Megiddo. The history of the city starts more than 4,000 years ago. The area at the time was home to the Caananities and ruled by the Egyptians. Believed by historians for years, more battles occurred in this area than any other place on earth. For this reason, Bible scholars teach that the final battle between good and evil will take place here.
Megiddo overlooks the Via Maris, making it a prime strategic location. This was an ancient trade route linking Egypt with Syria and Mesopotamia. The road ran through Jezreel Valley, also called the Plain of Esdraeion. The apostle John had said this area was fertile and the site of the final Battle of Armageddon. According to the Bible, this war will dwarf all others that took place there. All of the following have clased in battle in this area: Egyptians, Caananities, Israelites, Midianites, Amalekites, Philistines, Greeks, Romans, Crusaders, Mongols, French, Ottonans, British, Australians, Germans, Arabs, and Israelis.
The city became a fortified city-state in the 20th century B.C. when a wall was built around it to protect it from those trying to plunder the city. Pharoah Thutmose III sieged Megiddo for seven months in 1468 B.C., then finally captured it and looted the city of all its riches. Megiddo is first referenced in the Bible in Joshua 12:21. Eventually history shows the city was controlled by Solomon, maybe after King David conquered it. Solomon built a double wall around the city and made massive renovations, creating a royal city. He also built a series if giant gates with three chambers between them for security. Pharoah Shishak took the town in 923 B.C. as well as taking the city of Jerusalem. Israelite King Omri and his son Ahab, in the 9th century B.C., restored the city to its former glory, fortifying it further.
Even with all this work, Assyrian King Tiglath Puleser III overran the city in 732 B.C. He made Megiddo a regional capital, then led its Israeli people away into exile. Soon after Megiddo dwindled into a small town. By the 4th century B.C. it was completely abandoned. But the story continues. Megiddo and Jezreal Valley were occupied by soldiers of the Ottoman Empire during World War I, opposed by General Sir Edmond Allenby. This British commander of the Egypt Expeditionary Force went there to get them out.
Once Allenby captured Jerusalem, he set his sights on Megiddo in September 1918. He took 35,000 infantry and and 9,000 cavalry to advance on the Turks. The Turks fell and were eventually defeated as they were outnumbered. At the end of the battle, the British took 25,000 prisoners. The Battle of Megiddo was known as the best-planned and successful campaigns of war.
Even with all these battles that occurred at Megiddo, none will compare to the final battle. The final battle will be one of apocalyptic measures. Nuclear exchanges between nations of the East and West will occur after both sides move thousands of troops into the Middle East.
The western armies go to Megiddo where they plan to go to Jerusalem to attack, which is 55 miles away.
Both sides battle and clash in the Valley of Jehoshaphat, called the Valley of Decisions in the scripture. The scriptures read: "Multitudes, multitudes in the calley of decision" (Joel 3:14)
Jesus descends on the Mount of Olives as murder and mayhem are taking place below. Jesus sends supernatural forces to slaughter both armies. Jesus establishes his house on the Mountain of Jerusalem in the aftermath of this war. Jeusalem will now experience 1,000 years of peace.
However, there are other Armageddon senarios besides this literal interpretation of the scriptures. You will find those that say World War III will be the start of Armageddon here on earth. Some people say Armageddon has already begun because mankind has gotten away from spirituality. The foolishness will peak on Judgement Day. Yet you will still find those people that say Megiddo is just a symbol for a larger battlefield that encompasses the entire earth.
Jesus has said in Matthew 24:36 "But of that day and have knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only". Believers, even those who know this passage, still say the apocalypse is coming quickly. This belief is based on the level of deprivation, where much of society has sunk.