You’d think that armageddon were a cataclysmic even that would utterly destroy the earth and all life upon it if you believed what you saw in the movies. My message to you is this: don’t believe what you see in the movies.
Whether Hollywood is willfully misleading us to make a quick buck, or whether they are actually that misinformed as to what armageddon actually is, I wouldn’t venture to guess.
Suffice it to say that armageddon is not a reference to a comet, or a plague, or a zombie attack that wipes out the human race. From hollywood’s perspective, armageddon is simply a word that attracts interest and gets people to the movies.
I am a person who happens to believe that armageddon is too important of a topic to twist into a false representation all for personal gain. If scriptural armageddon is real, and I believe that it is, then it is imperative that it be understood for what it really means.
Armageddon’s Actual Definition
A Greek transliteration from the Hebrew Har Megiddon, or “Mountain of Megiddo.” The valley of Megiddo is in the western portion of the plain of Esdraelon about 75 miles north of Jerusalem. Several times the valley of Megiddo was the scene of violent and crucial battles during Old Testament times (Judg. 5:19; 2 Kgs. 9:27; 23:29). A great and final conflict taking place at the Second Coming of the Lord is called the battle of Armageddon. See Zech. 11–14, especially 12:11; Rev. 16:14–21.
The scriptures speak of armageddon in terms of a war, or a battle. Will there be many other tragedies associated with the battle, or will other tragedies happen simultaneously as the battle? Yes! But, armageddon specifically refers to the battle and not to other events occurring at, or around, the same time.
This great battle will feature men of war in the hundreds of millions. This is an enormous military gathering that will create fear and trembling among those who witness it.
Be it remembered that tribulations lie ahead. There will be wars in one nation and kingdom after another until war is poured out upon all nations and two hundred million men of war mass their armaments at Armageddon.
Armageddon’s focus is on Israel. The nations that are a part of this great military will attack Israel with their might.
When Israel has returned to her land, having come from all the nations of the earth, and the Old Jerusalem has been rebuilt with the temple of the Lord, then will come a time of great wickedness and destruction which will culminate in the battle of Armageddon.
It has been falsely supposed that it will be a state of righteousness that ushers in the millennial era. Such is not the case; the whole world will be wallowing in wickedness. Two of God’s prophets will be slain in Jerusalem, and their bodies will lie in the street for three and a half days before God brings them forth from the dead (Rev. 11:8–11).
According to divine providence Jerusalem’s tribulations will parallel her sins: the city shall be taken, the houses rifled, the women ravished (Zech. 14:2). It appears that only the righteous will escape this destruction and depredation.
Such is the setting of the last great battle, the battle of Armageddon. This culminating battle in a religious war, a war which pits the cause of Israel and their Christ against the forces of Gog and Magog, will be waged on the plain of Esdraelon in the ancient land of Palestine. According to Revelation 9:16 [Rev. 9:16], here some “two hundred thousand thousand” (that is two hundred million men and more) will be involved in a battle which will embrace and extend to all the nations of the earth. During this battle Christ will place his foot again upon the Mount of Olives and the sacred mount will split in twain. He will rescue his people and stand in judgment on the wicked. The defeat of Gog and Magog will represent the final destruction of the enemies of Israel and the end of earthly nations and kingdoms. Soon thereafter, Christ will reign as King of kings and Lord of lords (Rev. 9; D&C 45:48; Rev. 19:14–16).
On the Apocalypse
The word “apocalypse” specifically refers to the revelation given to John in the book of Revelations in the New Testament. Apocalypse is a greek word that means to uncover, or to reveal. The apocalypse isn’t any one single event. Rather, it is all of the events revealed to John. It includes good and wonderful things, as well as terrible calamities. Parts of armageddon are foretold in the apocalypse. Many of the events spoken of in the revelation will occur in, or around, the same time as the battle of armageddon.
When is Armageddon?
I have no idea. I do know that it will happen sooner rather than later, relatively speaking. We live in the time of apocalyptic events. Those who are familiar with the scriptures and who believe in Jesus Christ undoubtedly are aware that prophecies are being fulfilled.
Look at ISIS. It bears a striking resemblance to the armies of armageddon. Do I believe it is the same thing? No. But I do believe that it could be the beginnings, and that it could easily lead to it. We simply can not help but know and understand that events are happening right before our eyes that were foretold in scripture thousands of years ago.
Israel has returned to its lands. It is a nation again. It has many enemies and it is clear to see how easily a numerous host of men of war could potentially form and gather together against her.
Prepare for Armageddon
How does a person prepare for events as frightening as a world war whose military numbers in the hundreds of millions? I don’t have all the answers, but I can approach this from the perspective of how I personally intend to prepare. I have decided to not be a part of the problem. I have no desire to participate in a war that is led by an evil tyrant who seeks to destroy Israel. Rather, I want to be a part of the solution.
You may have noticed that in all the references to the battle of armageddon, there are also references to what happens after. In other words, it is not the end. Life will continue on and there will need to be people prepared to pick up the pieces and rebuild. This realization brings hope for a better future. The knowledge that even though times will get really rough, they will also get better, is a comforting thing to understand.
We prepare for armageddon by preparing for any other kind of emergency. We prepare spiritually, physically, mentally, and financially. We do what is necessary to prepare to meet God. We take care of our bodies and our minds. We shun debt and build up a supply of extra food, water, and fuel for times of need. We serve others and always speak the truth. We don’t get caught up in the sins of the world. Prepare for what is coming. Don’t wait. Don’t put it off. It might be years, even decades away, but that is no reason to delay.There is a lot of good we can do between now and then. So, let’s get started. Let’s be prepared for it because armageddon is coming.
Full Disclosure: I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. What I write here are my own thoughts and opinions and ought not be interpreted to reflect the official position of the LDS Church. My faith informs my thoughts, but my thoughts are my own.