Jehovah’s War of Armageddon
PEOPLE the world over fear another global war. They fear it because of having already experienced two world wars. They fear it because atomic weapons will be used. They fear it because there seems no way of escaping it. But what the majority of the people do not realize is that something far more terrible than another international war is impending. (2 Pet. 3:7, 10) As General of the Army Douglas MacArthur, on September 2, 1945, the day after the surrender of the Japanese, aboard the battleship “Missouri”, warned: “Men since the beginning of time have sought peace. . . . Military alliances, balance of power, leagues of nations, all in turn failed, leaving the only path to be by way of the crucible of war. We have had our last chance. If we will not devise some greater and more equitable system, our Armageddon will be at our door.” No “more equitable system” has been devised. The nations are having their “last chance”. Armageddon is at the door!
Now let this fact be fully appreciated by all: Armageddon will be altogether different, separate and distinct from any prospective World War III, touched off and prosecuted by mere men. Armageddon will not be a war between Eastern and Western blocs of nations. It will not be communism against capitalism. It will not be a revolt of the laboring masses against the ruling classes. No, Armageddon will be the battle of God Almighty, the great and terrible war, when Jehovah completely destroys the nations and kingdoms that oppose and fight against his glorious theocratic rule.—Zeph. 3:8, AS.
Armageddon will not be any local war limited to the literal valley of Megiddo in Palestine. Har–Magedon, or Armageddon, means the “mountain of the assembly of troops”, and it refers in a symbolic way to the capital organization of Zion where Jehovah God has enthroned Christ Jesus as earth’s rightful ruler. That great historical event took place in the year 1914, conclusive proof concerning this having already appeared in the columns of The Watchtower.—Ps. 45:3-7.
So it is against the established kingdom under Christ that the nations under the control of the Devil and his demons now gather together for an all-out final, but futile, assault. Says the psalmist: “Why do the nations rage, and the peoples meditate a vain thing [conspiring to continue their rule]? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against Jehovah, and against his anointed [King], . . . He that sitteth in the heavens will laugh: the Lord will have them in derision. Then will he speak unto them in his wrath [at Armageddon], and vex them in his sore displeasure: Yet I have set my king upon my holy hill of Zion.”—Ps. 2:1-6, AS.
THE GATHERING STORM
They do not realize it, but the hurried efforts of the rulers since 1914 in forming leagues of nations, creating confederacies, drawing up hemispheric pacts and international agreements, and pooling their strength in what they call a United Nations—all of such schemes having welded the nations together into a solid bloc in opposition to Christ’s kingdom—are in direct fulfillment of divine prophecy long ago recorded. And just as surely as we have seen the nations form these confederacies, just that surely will we see them dashed to pieces at Armageddon! “Associate yourselves, O ye people,” the prophet declared, “and ye shall be broken in pieces.” “Gird yourselves, and ye shall be broken in pieces.” “Take counsel together, and it shall come to nought.”—Isa. 8:9, 10.
Have you observed the overwhelming flood of demonic propaganda constantly increasing in volume since World War I, great swelling words booming forth as from the throats of inflated bullfrogs?
As foretold in Bible prophecy, such propaganda is inspired by the demons, the purpose being to line up everyone on the Devil’s side for the universal war of Armageddon. “And I saw three unclean inspired expressions that looked like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon and out of the mouth of the wild beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet. They are, in fact, expressions inspired by demons and perform signs, and they go forth to the kings of the entire inhabited earth, to gather them together to the war of the great day of God the Almighty. And they gathered them together to the place that is called in Hebrew Har–Magedon [Armageddon].”—Rev. 16:13, 14, 16, NW.
The greatest battle of all ages is fast approaching and the opposing forces of wickedness have but a short time to prepare for it. Hence Jehovah mockingly tells them: “Proclaim ye this among the nations; prepare war; stir up the mighty men; let all the men of war draw near, let them come up. Beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruning-hooks into spears: let the weak say, I am strong. Haste ye, and come, all ye nations round about, and gather yourselves together. . . . Let the nations bestir themselves, and come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat; for there will I sit to judge all the nations round about.” (Joel 3:9-12, AS) They obey. The greatest armaments race in all history is in full swing.
Soon their total regimentation will be complete, and they will feel invincible, secure and peaceably entrenched. But that is where they will make their greatest blunder, as the apostle Paul declares: “Whenever it is that they are saying, ‘Peace and security!’ then sudden destruction is to be instantly upon them just as the pang of distress upon a pregnant woman, and they will by no means escape.” (1 Thess. 5:3, NW) Jehovah, a warrior without a peer, well knows the value of surprise, and He makes full use of it, not in a cowardly sneak-attack, but by first giving complete warning, and then striking the obstinate enemies when and where they least expect it. “Concerning that day and hour nobody knows, neither the angels of the heavens nor the Son [Jehovah’s Chief Field Marshal], but only the Father.”—Matt. 24:36, NW.
Jehovah’s “D-day” of Armageddon may be strictly a military secret, but the suddenness and surprise of it will convince even the enemy that this is it. Armageddon will break as suddenly as the flood that deluged the earth in Noah’s day; as suddenly as the bolts of fire that came down from heaven and licked up the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah in Lot’s day. (Luke 17:26-30) Satan’s forces will be as surprised as when Joshua’s army ambushed the cocky inhabitants of Ai; as surprised as the slumbering Midianites when Gideon’s little band in the dead of night smashed the pitchers and shouted, “The sword of Jehovah and of Gideon”; as surprised as when David’s men circled the Philistines and came upon them from the rear. (Josh. 8:1-23; Judg. 7:19-22; 2 Sam. 5:22-24, AS) As in these past instances, so also now, Jehovah God is maneuvering the enemy into a position where their destruction will be so sudden and complete Jehovah will be vindicated for all time as the greatest warrior in the universe, supreme in wisdom and almighty in battle.—Ex. 15:3; Ps. 24:8, 10, AS.
HOW FINAL WAR WILL BE FOUGHT
This old world has had a long time to develop and bring forth good fruits, but all she has produced is wild oats and bitter grapes of wickedness. Now harvesttime has arrived. “Put ye in the sickle; for the harvest is ripe: come, tread ye; for the winepress is full, the vats overflow; for their wickedness is great. Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision! for the day of Jehovah is near in the valley of decision.” (Joel 3:13, 14, AS) It is Christ Jesus and the host of holy angels with him that will trample underfoot and squeeze the very life out of Satan’s forces, even as ancient treaders of the winepress made pulp out of grapes. Crowned as Ruler of the new world, with flaming vengeance streaking from his eyes as he rides to victory upon a white war mount, Jehovah’s Vindicator will tread “the press of the wine of the anger of the wrath of God the Almighty”. (Jer. 25:30, 31, AS; Rev. 19:11-16, NW) In this execution work the “King of kings and Lord of lords” will have associated with him myriads upon myriads of holy angels, even all the armies of heaven, numbering no less than 200,000,000.—Ps. 68:17; Rev. 9:16, NW.
What a terrible slaughter that will be! All the angelic host of heaven laying siege against both the visible and invisible hordes of wicked ones! How such supernatural warfare will be waged we do not know, but the Bible tells something of the horrifying results. “This shall be the plague wherewith Jehovah will smite all the peoples that have warred against [heavenly] Jerusalem: their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their sockets, and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth.”—Ezek. 38:21-23; Zech. 14:12, AS.
It is true that this global sphere will remain forever, yet the cosmic forces deployed against the Devil’s organization will rock this earth to its very foundation. (Ps. 46:2, 3; 104:5; Eccl. 1:4) Upheavals of the ocean floor will in turn cause roaring tidal waves to sweep inland with frightful consequences. Raging storms so fierce as to blacken out the light of the sun, while at the same time burning missiles, perhaps showers of molten meteors, and electrical storms will light up the heavens. Whether atomic energy in some form will be released in that battle is not certain, but the Creator of the atom, if He chooses to do so, will certainly convince proud and haughty men of science that their A-bombs and planned H-bombs are mere firecrackers in His sight.—Joel 3:15, 16; Hab. 3:1-19.
Just think of it, the greatest earthquake of the twentieth century, the one that struck Assam and northern India in 1950, was equivalent to the simultaneous explosion of 1,100,000 atomic bombs, each equal to 20,000 tons of TNT, and yet no one over a few hundred miles away felt the earth tremble beneath their feet. However, at Armageddon, Jehovah declares, he will shake terribly this whole earth. What immeasurable power that will be, changing the very face of the continents!—Isa. 2:19, 21.
In addition to these direct prophecies, Jehovah says he will go forth and fight at Armageddon “as when he fought in the day of battle” long ago. Such occasions of the past were typical pictures of the final war. “For Jehovah will rise up as in mount Perazim, he will be wroth as in the valley of Gibeon; that he may do his work, his strange work, and bring to pass his act, his strange act. Now therefore be ye not scoffers, lest your bonds be made strong; for a decree of destruction have I heard from the Lord, Jehovah of hosts, upon the whole earth.”—Isa. 28:21, 22; Zech. 14:3, AS.
As Jehovah washed the wicked system of things in Noah’s day right out of existence, so the present system he will destroy. The mighty military forces of the first world power, Egypt, Jehovah trapped and drowned as if they were rats. Again, in a single night, Jehovah slew the so-called invincible forces of Sennacherib the boaster, all 185,000 of them! When Joshua’s forces were fighting in behalf of the Gibeonites, Jehovah simply opened the heavens and threw down great hailstones, killing more that way than were slain with the sword. Concerning the rout of Sisera and his heavily mechanized army we read: “They fought from heaven; the stars in their courses fought against Sisera. The river of Kishon swept them away, that ancient river, the river Kishon.” A repeat performance on a global scale is due at Armageddon, “that men may know that thou, whose name alone is JEHOVAH, art the most high over all the earth.”—Josh. 10:6-14; Judg. 5:20, 21; Ps. 83:9-18; Isa. 37:33-38.
On another occasion Jehovah threw such confusion and terror among the hordes of Ammon, Moab and Mount Seir that they rose up and cut each other to pieces until they were all dead men. This too will be repeated at Armageddon: “And it shall come to pass in that day, that a great tumult from Jehovah shall be among them; and they shall lay hold every one on the hand of his neighbor, and his hand shall rise up against the hand of his neighbor.”—2 Chron. 20:1-24; Zech. 14:13, AS.
WILL YOU BE AMONG THE SURVIVORS?
In this impending war modern atomic weapons will surely prove disappointing to all who put their trust in them; likewise all human devices for protection. The prophecy says that even if they dig into the earth for concealment, as in bombproof cellars, or try to make a get-away into heavenly heights, as in supersonic jet planes, or attempt to flee under the sea’s surface, as in snorkel-equipped submarines, yet they will be overtaken and destroyed. “Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them in the day of Jehovah’s wrath.”—Amos 9:1-4; Zeph. 1:18, AS.
The carnage and destruction of Armageddon will be so awesome that it will defy human description. Already the carrion birds and wild beasts of the forest and zoos have been invited to banquet upon the many millions of carcasses of men, women and children of the high and mighty as well as of those who slavishly serve them.—Jer. 25:33, AS; Ezek. 9:5, 6; Rev. 19:17, 18, 21.
Well, does this mean there is no hope for survival? No, not at all. For Jehovah has faithfully promised to spare alive and protect those who are fully devoted to Him, such as were pictured by Noah, Lot, Rahab, and their households. Instead of trusting in the princes of this world, these seek righteousness and meekness and put full confidence in Jehovah, and to them the promise is made: “It may be ye will be hid in the day of Jehovah’s anger.”—Ps. 146:3; Prov. 3:5, 6; Zeph. 2:3, AS.