Armageddon—From a God of Love?
“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.
WHAT do you think of when you see the word “Armageddon?” For many it means a violent confrontation between the world’s superpowers. Most envision the ultimate disaster—a nuclear holocaust that reduces our earth to a devastated, radioactive cinder with few, if any, survivors. Yet, contrary to such popular opinions, that is not what Armageddon is at all.
The word “Armageddon” finds its source in the Bible. And there it occurs only once—in the 16th chapter of the book of Revelation. After telling how “all the kings of the world” will be gathered together “for the war of the Great Day of God the Almighty,” the prophecy states: “They called the kings together at the place called, in Hebrew, Armageddon.”—Re 16 Verses 13 to 16, The Jerusalem Bible.
“The war of the Great Day of God the Almighty”! Clearly, Armageddon is God’s war. True, it involves the kings, or nations, of the world. But they come, not to battle with one another, but to fight against God and the heavenly armies led by his appointed King Jesus Christ—who is depicted as mounted on a white horse. With what outcome? The Bible account reads: “The kings of the earth and their armies gathered together to wage the war with the one seated on the horse and with his army. . . . [They] were killed off with the long sword of the one seated on the horse . . . And all the birds were filled from the fleshy parts of them.”—Revelation 19:19-21.
A Sanguinary War
So devastating will Armageddon be that the carnage is referred to as a reaping of “the harvest of the earth” by means of a sharp sickle. “And the angel thrust his sickle into the earth and gathered the vine of the earth, and he hurled it into the great winepress of the anger of God. And the winepress was trodden outside the city, and blood came out of the winepress as high up as the bridles of the horses, for a distance of a thousand six hundred furlongs.”—Revelation 14:15-20.
Yes, blood will run deep under the hand of God’s executional forces. The 69 million deaths of two world wars will pale in comparison to those slain in God’s war of Armageddon. Concerning them the prophet Jeremiah wrote: “Those slain by Jehovah will certainly come to be in that day from one end of the earth clear to the other end of the earth. They will not be bewailed, neither will they be gathered up or be buried. As manure on the surface of the ground they will become.”—Jeremiah 25:30-33.
The burning missiles, fiery showers, and other cataclysmic forces that accompany God’s judgment will strike terror into the hearts of mankind earth wide. In confusion they will turn, each one against his neighbor, as God’s executional forces strike without regard to age or sex. For God instructs them to show no mercy: “Strike. Let not your eye feel sorry, and do not feel any compassion. Old man, young man and virgin and little child and women you should kill off—to a ruination.”—Ezekiel 9:5, 6; Zechariah 14:12, 13.
But how can this be? How can a God of love issue such an order? Or is he just a cold, uncaring, and vengeful God with little regard for his human creation? Would a God of love really bring about such a war as Armageddon?