(This is the 9th post in a 30-day series of posts about the Book of Revelation.)
“Armageddon” is such a biblical buzzword that you can be forgiven if you thought it must appear multiple times in Revelation.
The fact is, it’s mentioned one time.
Once, in Revelation 16:16:
“And the demonic spirits gathered all the rulers
and their armies to a place called Armageddon.”
Brian Zahnd, a pastor and author out of Saint Joseph, Mo., recently wrote what I think is a superb overview of Armageddon at his blog and here are some excerpts for your consideration …
“Prior to evoking Armageddon, John the Revelator paints a picture of three evil spirits like frogs coming out of the mouths of the dragon, the beast, and the false prophet.
“In Revelation the dragon, the beast, and the false prophet are a kind of unholy Trinity symbolizing Satan, Rome, and imperial propaganda. The frogs that crawl out of the mouths of the unholy Trinity are the demons of accusation, empire, and propaganda.
“These demonic frogs exert a powerful influence over world political leaders. Under the spell of the frogs croaking out accusation, empire, and propaganda, politicians are seduced into leading the world to Armageddon … or Waterloo, Gettysburg, Flanders’ Field, Pearl Harbor, Hiroshima…and so it goes.
“As long as we practice accusation, empire, and propaganda, Armageddon looms.
“Our looming Armageddons are always a possibility, but never an inevitability. The demonic seduction of accusation, empire, and propaganda always leads humanity to another bloody battlefield.
“Armageddon isn’t the end of war, Armageddon is endless war.
“We cannot war our way to peace. There is no way to peace; peace is the way…and Jesus is the Prince of Peace. If we try to end war by war, we always get another war.
“World War I was billed as “the war to end all wars.” So 17 million people were sacrificed on the altar of war in order to end war. And what did we get? 60 million people killed in World War II! What caused WWII? WWI. And what caused WWI? World leaders seduced by accusation, empire, and propaganda.
“According to the hokum of Left Behind and that ilk of egregious misinterpretation, Armageddon is a final and inevitable war in the Middle East that must occur before Jesus can return. This kind of reckless eschatology forces its adherents to be warmongers, not peacemakers.
“If you believe there must be a mega-war in the Middle East before Jesus can return, you’re going to be a lousy peacemaker! A fatalistic eschatology requiring end-time hyper-violence that slaughters hundreds of millions is more befitting of ISIS than the followers of the Prince of Peace!
“So allow me to say it as emphatically as I know how: There doesn’t have to be another war for Jesus to return! God has not written an unalterable script that requires war. If we reject the way of the Lamb, we get Armageddon. This is the wrath of God; wrath as consequence, not retribution. If we embrace the way of the Lamb, we get New Jerusalem. This is always the will of God.”
Whatever makes anyone think the God the Creator of heaven and earth has a plan to make fix thing in the end with a war that would wipe out kazillions of people in a bloodbath is beyond me.
9. The takeaway from lesson 9 is that God’s will is for peace on earth and his peace plan doesn’t call for any bloodbath at the ancient site that was Armeggedon. To the contrary–it calls for the world being restored to Eden.