The apocalyptic word “Armageddon” refers to earth’s final battle which is generally referred to as the Battle of Armageddon. But who are the contestants of this great battle of Armageddon? A fairly common reply would be “Russia, Syria, or Iran against Israel.” But is this the truest marker to the prophetic timeline of human history?
Understanding Bible Prophecy
There are as many interpretations of Bible Prophecy as there are people interested in the topic. Eschatology is the branch of theology concerned with final events in the history of humankind. It covers topics such as the antichrist , mark of the beast, and the Battle of Armageddon,.When it comes to interpreting these themes, it is important to allow the scriptures to interpret themselves. Something to rememer when it comes to understanding the prophetic writings, is we do not need to develop private interpretations. There is no need for human speculation when it comes to understanding thse all important issues. God's Word is enough.
The Apostle Peter writes the following:
"And we have the word of prophecy made more sure; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day-star arise in your hearts: knowing this first, that no prophecy of scripture is of private interpretation. For no prophecy ever came by the will of man: but men spake from God, being moved by the Holy Spirit." 2Pe 1:19-21
These verses inform us that everything we need to know about end time events is contained in the scriptures and we don't have to add extra doctrines or our own interpretations to fill in any gaps. We are admonished not to add or remove anythng from the visions and dreams. The book of Revelation contains the following:
"I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto them, God shall add unto him the plagues which are written in this book: and if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the tree of life, and out of the holy city, which are written in this book." Rev 22:18-19
These scriptures serve as a warning and a safeguard to wandering away from the intended meaning of the scriptures themselves. Let me say again that "everything we need to know about end time events are stated in the scriptures and we will not have to add extra doctrines or interpretations of our own". I want to share one last verse that provides insight into understanding biblical prophecy.
The prophet Isaiah gives guidance when he stated that “For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:” Isaiah 28:10. It may surprise some of you to learn that two thirds of the book of Revelation can be found in the Old Testament and that is key to unlocking the meaning of the symbols in the text. “Precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little.”
We will begin a more indepth look into these subjects in part 2 of the post but for now I want you to consider something. The belief that God will ultimately defend Middle East Jews at the battle of Armageddon is so strongly embedded within the 21st century evangelical psyche that it has spilled over into politics and even influences U.S. foreign policy toward the Jewish State.
The United States not only supports Israel as a democracy which it should but countless American citizens, including prophecy-minded, politically active Christians in Washington D.C., believe strongly that if they support Israel, God will support them. From California to New York, on radio and TV, the line is often heard, “He who blesses Israel will be blessed, and He who curses Israel will be cursed,” although this often repeated phrase is really a misinterpretation of Genesis 12:3 which contains one sentence spoken to Abraham alone, not to the Israeli nation.
Until next time…