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Armageddon (Arabic ہرمجید ون, Late Latin: , Harmagedōn, har məgiddô) is the site of an epic battle associated with the end time prophecies of the Abrahamic religions.

According to traditional Christian interpretations, the Messiah, the "Lamb", will return to earth and defeat the Antichrist, the "Beast", in the battle of Armageddon. Then Satan will be put into the bottomless pit or abyss for 1,000 years, known as the Millennial age. After being released from the abyss, Satan will gather Gog and Magog from the four corners of the earth. They will encamp surrounding the holy ones and the "beloved city". Fire will come down from God, out of heaven and devour Gog and Magog at Armageddon, and the Devil who deceived them is thrown into Gehenna (the lake of fire and brimstone) where the Beast and the False Prophet have been since just before the 1,000 years.

The word Armageddon appears only once in the Greek New Testament. The word comes from Hebrew har məgiddô ( ), meaning "Mountain of Megiddomarker". Megiddo was the location of many decisive battles in ancient times (see Battle of Megiddo). The town Megiddo is approximately west of the southern tip of the Sea of Galileemarker (or Lake Tiberias to the Romans) in the Kishon River area.

Christianity



Dispensationalism

The Dispensational viewpoint interprets biblical prophecy literally and expects that the fulfillment of prophecy will also be literal, depending upon the context of scripture. In his discussion of Armageddon, J. Dwight Pentecost has devoted an entire chapter to the subject, titled "The Campaign of Armageddon", in which he discusses Armageddon as a campaign and not a specific battle, which will be fought in the Middle East. Pentecost writes:



Dr. Pentecost then discusses the location of this campaign, and mentions the "hill of Megiddo" and other geographic locations such as "the valley of Jehoshaphat" and "the valley of the passengers", "Lord coming from Edom or Idumea, south of Jerusalemmarker, when He returns from the judgment"; and Jerusalem itself.

Pentecost further describes the area involved:

In mentioning the "participants in the campaign", Dr. Pentecost lists:

  • The ten kingdom federation of nations under the Beast
  • The northern federation consisting of Russiamarker (see also Gog and Magog) and her allies
  • The kings of the East, the Asiatic peoples from beyond the Euphrates
  • The King of the South, a north African power


Pentecost then outlines the biblical time period for this campaign to occur and with further arguments concludes that it must take place with the 70th week of Daniel. The invasion of Israel by the Northern Confederacy "will bring the Beast and his armies to the defense of Israel as her protector". He then uses Daniel to further clarify his thinking: (Dan. 11:40b-45).

Again, events are listed by Pentecost in his book:

  1. "The movement of the campaign begins when the King of the South moves against the Beast-False Prophet coalition, which takes place 'at the time of the end.'"
  2. "The King of the South is joined by the Northern Confederacy, who attacks the Wilful King by a great force over land and sea (11:40). Jerusalem is destroyed as a result of this attack, and, in turn, the armies of the Northern Confederacy are destroyed"
  3. "The full armies of the Beast move into Israel (11:41) and shall conquer all that territory (11:41-42). Edom, Moab, and Ammon alone escape. . . ."
  4. ". . . a report that causes alarm is brought to the Beast"
  5. "The Beast moves his headquarters into the land of Israel and assembles his armies there."
  6. "It is there that his destruction will come. (11:45)."


After the destruction of the Beast at the Second Coming of Jesus, the promised Kingdom is set up, in which Jesus and the Saints will rule for a thousand years. Satan is then loosed "for a season" and goes out to deceive the nations, specifically, Gog and Magog. The army mentioned attacks the Saints in the New Jerusalem, they are defeated by a judgment of fire coming down from Heaven, and then comes the Great White Throne judgment, which includes all of those through the ages and these are cast into the Lake of Fire, which event is also known as the "second death", not to be confused with Hell, which is Satan's domain. Pentecost describes this thusly:

Jehovah's Witnesses

Jehovah's Witnesses believe that Armageddon is a battle in which Satan unites the kings of the Earth against God's appointed King, Christ. Unlike other Christian groups, Witnesses believe that the 'Antichrist' is not an individual, and that the war is not one of nations fighting against one another.

The Witnesses teach that the Bible uses Megiddo as the "symbolic" place of gathering of all the kings of the Earth, where they will try to do battle against God and his forces. This action on the part of the kings of the Earth is provoked by expressions and signs inspired by demons, and is followed by the establishment of God's kingdom over earth for a thousand years. The final judgment and purification of the Earth's sin occurs at the end of the Millennium. According to The Watchtower magazine, a prelude to Armageddon will be the attack on all religions by the United Nations.

Seventh-day Adventist

Seventh-day Adventist understanding of Revelation 13-22
The teachings of the Seventh-day Adventist Church state that the terms "Armageddon", "Day of the Lord" and "The Second Coming of Christ" all describe the same event. Seventh-day Adventists further teach that the current religious movements taking place in the world are setting the stage for Armageddon, and they are concerned by the growing unity between spiritualism, American Protestantism and Roman Catholicism. A further significant difference in Seventh-day Adventist theology is the teaching that the events of Armageddon will leave the earth desolate for the duration of the millennium. They teach that the righteous will be taken to heaven while the rest of humanity will be destroyed, leaving Satan with no one to tempt and effectively "bound." The final re-creation of a "new heaven and a new earth." then follows the millennium.

Islam

Muslims believe that the Islamic Prophet Muhammad prophesied several events to occur just before the advent of the Day of Judgment (Yawm al-Qiyamah). Al Messieh Al Dajaal (the Antichrist) will fool people into believing that he is God and ask people to worship him. True believers will reject him but will not be able to defeat him on their own. God will then send the Messiah to earth to fight the Antichrist in the battle of Armageddon, and he will defeat the unlawful Messiah and his followers.

Muslims also believe in Gog and Magog.

Ahmadiyya

In Ahmadiyya Islam, Armageddon is viewed as a spiritual battle or struggle in the present age between the forces of good, i.e. righteousness, purity and virtue, and the forces of evil. The final struggle between the two comes as satanic influence is let loose with the emergence of Gog and Magog. Satan gathers all his powers, and uses all his methods by which to mislead people, introducing an age where iniquity, promiscuity, atheism, and materialism abound. According to Ahmadi teachings, the present age has as a result been a witness to the wrath of God with the occurrence of the First and Second World Wars and the frequency of natural disasters.

Ahmadis believe that God appointed Ghulam Ahmad (d.1908) as the promised Messiah and Mahdi, for the spiritual reformation and moral direction of mankind. The moral teachings of Islam as elucidated by Ghulam Ahmad in accordance with the present age (the seventh and last of the millennial ages from the time of the biblical man, Adam) would eventually protect from and overcome these evils, and establish the unity and sincere worship of God and an age of peace on earth. This age continues for approximately one thousand years as per Judeo-Christian and Islamic prophecies of the Apocalypse; it is characterised by the assembling of mankind under one faith i.e. Islam as per Ahmadiyya belief.

Bahá'í Faith

Bahá'í literature provides three interpretations of the expectations surrounding the Battle of Armageddon, which they associated with events surrounding the World Wars.

The first interpretation deals with a series of tablets written by Bahá'u'lláh, founder of the Bahá'í Faith, to be sent to various kings and rulers. The second relates to events near the end of World War I involving General Allenby and the Battle of Megiddo wherein World Powers are said to have drawn soldiers from many parts of the world to engage in battle at Megiddo. The third interpretation reviews the overall progress of the World Wars, and the situation in the world before and after.

Literature and film



See also



References


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