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Where will the battle of Armageddon be fought?

Where will the battle of Armageddon be fought?

The battle of Armageddon has intrigued people ever since the apostle John wrote about it 2,000 years ago. Is this the ultimate world war with unthinkable weapons fought somewhere in the Middle East or near your backyard, or did John have something else in mind?

The only verse in the Bible that uses the word Armageddon, says, “They gathered them together to the place called in Hebrew, Armageddon” (Revelation 16:16). The word “Armageddon” is something of a mystery, appearing only in this verse and nowhere else in Greek literature.

One way we can unravel the mystery of Armageddon is to keep in mind that the names found in the book of Revelation are primarily symbolic and turn our minds back to Old Testament events and people. The word Armageddon comes from two Hebrew words: “mountain” and “Megiddo.” In its physical sense, it appears to refer to a valley near Megiddo where three primary battles took place in Israel’s history. All of them were conflicts with impossible odds.

The first took place in Judges 4 when God, through a prophetess named Deborah, commanded Barak to fight against the powerful Canaanites who rode to battle in chariots of iron. The second is the famous story of Gideon and his small band of men fighting the giant Midianite army. And the last one is the famous showdown on Mount Carmel where Elijah stood alone against the prophets of Baal. All of these stories demonstrate that when it appears the enemy will conquer, God victoriously rises up and saves His people. This is the message of Revelation 16:16.

Contrary to what most people believe, the battle of Armageddon is not a typical war between political powers—such as Russia, China, or Israel. Instead, it is the final battle between Christ and Satan and their respective followers. The focus of this passage is not to identify a geographical location.

The first phase of Armageddon is detailed in Revelation 12:17, when the dragon makes war with the woman. “The dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” The ultimate conclusion of this battle takes place at the end of the 1,000 years, when the devil rallies “Gog and Magog,” a symbolic name for the enemies of God’s people, to attack the holy city (Revelation 20:8).

Satan is a deceiver and wants to divert our attention from the spiritual war between good and evil in our hearts to a physical battle in some far-off land. The devil does not want us to look to Jesus, but to the Middle East. In his efforts to win this battle he will, someday soon, even impersonate Christ and encourage the world to worship the beast.

Our best preparation for Armageddon is not to become preppers who physically set up their homes to fight off enemies attacking with guns or bombs. The real preparation is to stand firmly on the Word of God so that we may recognize the devil’s deceptions. Readiness is not about a sophisticated bunker and water filtration system; it is in hiding in the shelter of the Lord and drinking of the truth of Christ, who is the Water of Life.

Thoughts of Armageddon should direct our focus to a relationship with the Savior. Being a doomsday prepper or survivalist will not protect you from your greatest enemy—Satan. Where will the battle of Armageddon be fought? It takes place primarily in the human heart. That’s why the best preparation for Armageddon is to be clothed with the armor of Jesus’ righteousness. Then you will prevail even in the face of a death decree given to those who keep God’s commandments and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

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