Why So Much Talk About Armageddon?
“ARMAGEDDON”—what does this Bible name signify? Introduced each time by a meaningful cover, a series of informative articles on this topic is being featured in the four issues of The Watchtower for January and February 1985. It is hoped that these Scriptural discussions will comfort you with knowledge as to what is the real ARMAGEDDON.
“You know, I turn back to your ancient prophets in the Old Testament and the signs foretelling Armageddon, and I find myself wondering if—if we’re the generation that is going to see that come about.”—Ronald W. Reagan, president of the United States, October 18, 1983.
“Apocalypse is today not merely a biblical depiction but it has become a very real possibility. Never before in human experience have we been placed on the narrow edge between catastrophe and survival.”—Javier Perez de Cuellar, secretary-general of the United Nations, June 8, 1982.
“ARMAGEDDON” has become the talk of the world. The ominous-sounding word is heard more and more frequently from the lips of clergymen, politicians, statesmen, military generals, scientists, and even economists. In the United States alone, the word Armageddon is found in the titles of at least 15 books in circulation during 1983. It has become the subject matter of numerous other books, some of which have sold into the millions of copies.
It may seem strange that this word has skyrocketed to popularity, for the first recorded use of the word Armageddon is found in the Bible—and there it is used only once. (Revelation 16:16, King James Version) Yet the clergy have not had the sole claim on use of the word. In the 1800’s the word Armageddon began to be used in a non-Biblical sense as well. However, it was not until the early 1900’s that “Armageddon” became synonymous with “any great slaughter” or “final conflict.”
Since then the word Armageddon has slowly crept into the vocabulary of diverse groups of professions, each one coloring it with a different shade of meaning. In 1912, Theodore Roosevelt, campaigning for a further term as president of the United States, gave the word a political twist. He boasted: “With unflinching heart and undimmed eye, we stand at Armageddon and we battle for the Lord.” Roosevelt lost that political battle for reelection.
Nowadays it is a bad case of world jitters that is causing all this talk about Armageddon: threats of global nuclear annihilation, a long nuclear winter due to detonating those fearsome weapons, a great war in the Middle East, or a sudden collapse of the world’s economic foundation. The word Armageddon is thus popping up today even in the most unexpected places:
◆ A full-length Japanese animated feature cartoon film entitled “Armageddon in Kichijoji” depicts cartoon figures that represent good and evil in a battle to the finish.
◆ The expected 1986 reappearance of Halley’s Comet caused the Frankfurter Neue Presse to say that it “could well again presage Armageddon” for the superstitious.
But not one of these is the Armageddon. Today another voice proclaiming Armageddon is being heard—one soaring in intensity and sounded by more than two and a-half million people. Have you heard it? By listening to this voice, you will be able to learn not only what Armageddon is not but, more importantly, what it really is.