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hvn_nbr_2

(6,494 posts)
21. Some very different thoughts on Armageddon: progressive, sensible, Biblical, anti-war
Tue Nov 7, 2023, 03:23 PM
Nov 2023

I'm a bit late to this discussion, but I have some very different thoughts about Armageddon.

In the story of Armageddon (Rev 16:13-16, Rev 19:11-21, and Rev 1:16), the only "weapon" that Christ uses to defeat all the armies of the earth is a two-edged sword coming out of the mouth of the Word of God (Rev 19:15-21). This would be a singularly ridiculous symbol for the military might of Jesus to conquer on the battlefield, if it meant that. No soldier in the history of warfare ever went into battle carrying their weapon in their mouth. It's a preposterous notion and it describes a preposterous image.

If the sword meant military might, it would be in the right hand of the Power of God or maybe the Wrath of God, not coming out of the mouth of the Word of God. In fact, if you google for images of "Christ Armageddon sword -movie" ("-movie" to filter out images from the movie), about 80% of the images you get show the sword in his right hand, in blatant contradiction of what the Bible actually says. The warmongers who want Armageddon to be a giant military conflagration blatantly contradict the Bible to make it what they want it to be!

The sword coming from the mouth of the Word makes no sense in military terms. What then could it sensibly mean? For that answer, we have to look at the other part of the Armageddon story, the call to gather for war at Armageddon (Rev 16:12-16). There, "unclean spirits" come out of the mouths of three of Satan's partners (the dragon, the beast, and the false prophet) and call all the nations to war. "Out of mouths" again!

The call to war comes out of satanic mouths, and the antidote that conquers war itself comes out of the Word's mouth. What comes out of mouths? Words, thoughts, ideas, statements, truth or falsehood, wisdom or folly. Truth and wisdom come out of God's mouth, and falsehood and folly come out of satanic mouths. The two-edged sword coming out of the mouth of the Word of God simply has the most common symbolic and metaphorical meaning, "truth is a two-edged sword." God's truth is the one thing that is powerful enough to defeat Satan's lies; Armageddon is the story of God's truth overcoming the falsehood and folly that call us to war.

This understanding of Armageddon reveals the meaning of the strange name Armageddon, which never appeared anywhere before it appeared in Revelation. There is no place in physical reality called Armageddon. The Hebrew words that are combined in the name mean, depending on the translator, something like "the mountain above Megiddo," "the heights above Megiddo," or simply "above Megiddo." Megiddo is a city in Israel where several historically important battles were fought. The name has been a mystery to scholars and theologians because there are no mountains above Megiddo.

Here is the meaning of the name Armageddon: This "battle" where God's truth conquers Satan's falsehood to set us free from war happens "on a higher level"--the moral, intellectual, and spiritual levels--than the physical level of Megiddo's military battlefields, on a higher level than Megiddo, "above Megiddo." There is also the sense that this is metaphorically an "on the mountaintop" experience for humanity.

This explanation doesn't address all the flesh-eating birds in two verses of the Armageddon story (Rev 19:17-18). That explanation would require more words than I want to write now or than you probably want to read now, but if there's any interest, I may some time address that and some other pretty cool stuff in Revelation too.

I know how you feel, BlueKota. arkielib Oct 2023 #1
It's hard to walk away from something that was a part of your life BlueKota Oct 2023 #2
Same with the Baptists and other evangelicals. They have lost all credibility. arkielib Oct 2023 #3
In some ways, that kind of teaching in Catholicism wnylib Oct 2023 #15
I always had the feeling that what they taught in the school BlueKota Oct 2023 #16
Early childhood teachings are hard to break away from. wnylib Oct 2023 #17
Joseph Campbell with whom Bill Moyers held a series of discussions on The Power of Myth, summer_in_TX Nov 2023 #23
An Orthodox ☦️ priest reminded me a long time ago that after we are afforded the sprinkleeninow Oct 2023 #4
Thank you! BlueKota Oct 2023 #20
Well, in the Lutheran church that I grew up in, wnylib Oct 2023 #5
Thank you so much. BlueKota Oct 2023 #12
Have you read Armageddon by Bart Ehrman? tanyev Oct 2023 #6
This sounds fascinating. ShazzieB Oct 2023 #7
He's written quite a few books in a similar vein. tanyev Oct 2023 #8
I recommend looking up Bart Ehrman on You Tube. There are wnylib Oct 2023 #11
Bart Ehrman does a great job of explaining Revelation. wnylib Oct 2023 #9
I have not read it yet BlueKota Oct 2023 #13
It's true that mankind's ability to destroy has far outpaced the ability tanyev Oct 2023 #19
Many years ago -- more years than I care to admit -- I read a theory that Revelations was actually shrike3 Oct 2023 #18
Does God change His mind? WDLAL Oct 2023 #10
Thank you! BlueKota Oct 2023 #14
Some very different thoughts on Armageddon: progressive, sensible, Biblical, anti-war hvn_nbr_2 Nov 2023 #21
Fascinating - and different from any interpretation I've heard before. summer_in_TX Nov 2023 #22
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