Armageddon is near! God’s vengeance is close! It’s the end of the world! These are the lines many Christians have been sold for generations, and many of us have bought.
William Miller was among the first sellers. He proclaimed 4 different dates in 1844 as the last day. He died 5 years later. Preacher Miller and so many others don’t seem to “get” the real meaning of Armageddon as it appears in Revelation 16.
Revelation, that book of greatest symbolism in the Bible, describes dramatically the 144,000 disciples of the lamb (Christ) bearing the sign of God on their foreheads. Pitted against them are the followers of the beast (evil and the Roman Empire) with 666 on their foreheads. These 2 forces clash, according to the author, in a final ferocious battle at Armageddon.
There is no record of any locality so named in all ancient history which indicates this battle is not to be taken in a literal sense. The term, Armageddon, means the hills of Megiddo. Megiddo was a village northwest of Jerusalem where many pivotal battles in Israelite history had been fought, and so, of itself, suggests the ferocity of warfare. The author is not speaking literally of an actual physical conflict, but, more importantly, the ultimate struggle each of us wages daily in our hearts: that titanic war of good versus evil.
Do you, do I, manifest 666 or the sign of the Lord? This sign is not skin-deep but resides in our spirit. Armageddon is not the final battle of angels but spotlights our daily struggle for justice, kindness, and compassion. Truly, we are the soldiers of Armageddon.