Armageddon – on earth and in heaven

For as long as I can remember, I have been taught that the battle of Armageddon is a great war that is going to take place somewhere in Israel in the very last days. In fact, it is one of the very last events that is to take place before the Lord returns. If the battle of Armageddon has commenced, then you know that time is about up.

Well, not really. Time will continue, but for any wicked who are living on the earth at that time, their time is up and they are about to be destroyed. In fact, we know that time exists even where God is although it is after a different order than our time, but that’s a discussion for another day and another essay.

I think you will agree with me though that the battle of Armageddon is surely one of the great signs that we need to be aware of as being a harbinger of the coming of the Lord to the earth in power and great glory. We call this the Second Coming or the Second Advent. To many people it is a day of rapture, rising to meet the Lord.

More than an earthly battle

I’ve thought long and hard about this great battle that is to take place and have just about decided that some of the tings I assumed or was taught growing up regarding this great battle were simply wrong. I think my teachers missed some fundamental points about what is prophesied to take place during this great and terrible battle.

Some of my gospel tutors had more of an understanding of what was to take place and made it clear that in addition to the earthly armies to be gathered that there would be many cataclysmic events transpiring in the heavens about the same time. They whetted my appetite to understand the heavenly wonders, but had no details.

The Battle of Armageddon is said by many, even by scholars within the church to be comprised of an army of 200 million. This is one of the interpretations of the scriptures that I find to be less than clear. I now wonder if Revelation 9:16 was referring to something other than the warriors comprising any earthly army.

The armies of the Lord

I have no doubt that there will indeed be millions upon millions of men and their terrible weapons of war amassed upon the Plain of Esdraelon. Those gathered will be from all nations and will come up to besiege Israel, but I just can’t see the need for 200 million warriors all gathered in that one place. It just doesn’t make sense.

I have written previously about my views of Revelation chapter 9, in conjunction with Joel chapter 2 in which I discussed one interpretation of the armies of the Lord. I am now more convinced than ever that John was not describing an earthly army in Rev 9:16. So I dismiss the idea that there will be 200 million gathered.

I know that I am going against what many LDS scholars and curriculum writers have surmised about this verse, but I just don’t feel that it is correct to interpret that number as referring to earthly armies. I invite you to provide me with a quote from a general authority that identifies the size of the army in the battle of Armageddon.

The battle in the heavens

Because we tend to be so focused on the political battle that so many have said will be happening in the plains below, we often overlook the great battle that the Lord has told us will be going on in the heavens above at that same time. Scholars have made passing reference to it but in terms that make it seem almost inconsequential.

Nothing could be further from the truth. The cataclysmic and catastrophic events in the heavens just before the return of the Lord will be among the most destructive and powerful forces to ever come upon this planet. In the words of the scriptures, the earth shall reel to and fro, the heavens shall shake and all will be in commotion.

It will be a day of great destruction with earthquakes the magnitude of which we have not experienced in our lifetime. These earthquakes are not caused by normal tectonic activity but by the approach of one of the creations of God as an agent of destruction. In other words, it will be a great planet that at first looks like a comet.

Sign of the Son of Man

I can hear you now. “Yeah, right, whoever heard of such a thing? If a planet or comet was going to come near to the earth in the last days, God would have told us about it.” Well, he has. The prophet Joseph Smith made it clear that there will appear one grand sign of the Son of Man in heaven. But what will the world do?

They will say it is a planet, a comet or some other celestial object. Maybe they will identify it as such because that is indeed what it will be. Can you imagine what will happen when a huge planet approaches this earth, not on a collision course, but in a manner that it will come alongside us or actually above us?

Stars shall fall from heaven

Sounds crazy, doesn’t it? But that’s exactly what is going to happen. When the Lord says that he will come in the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory, I can’t think of anything more powerful and glorious than to see a huge planet come upon us and take up residence over the Northern magnetic pole of planet earth.

As the planet approaches, it will bring with it much celestial debris that will reign down destruction upon us in the form of meteorites and burning hail from the sky. No, you and I have never seen this before in our lifetimes, but prophets of the past have seen it and have foretold it in vivid and descriptive language as a warning.

I have written about this previously in an essay quoting what some of the early leaders of our church commonly taught in their day. For some reason, we are not as familiar with these quotes as we should be. Perhaps it is because we do not believe them or we think that such statements were just conjecture on their part.

Summary and conclusion

Yes, Armageddon will be a great and terrible day, but not necessarily for the reason that most of us have come to believe. There is no doubt that there will be armies encompassing Jerusalem in the last days just before the return of the Lord. But as terrible that that battle will be, it will be eclipsed by events in the heavens.

I do not believe that the army that is gathered against Israel at that day will be numbered in the hundreds of millions as some scholars have led us to believe. I am convinced that they have misinterpreted Rev 9:16. It does not refer to armies of men but to falling debris from the sky, accompanying the approaching planet.

You can read more about that in Joel chapter 2 where he described swarms of meteorites flying in bands and taking various shapes, like horses racing in the sky or hosts of warriors leaping. Study it for yourself. I think we’ve been mislead. Armageddon is much more than a battle of men. It is also a battle in the skies.

10 comments
Tim Malone
Tim Malone

Kathleen,Do you mean Nibiru or Planet X? Several other people have brought that up on other essays here. I'm not much into that Planet X stuff but who knows...Let's watch the heavens to see if it shows up. According to some, we should start seeing it in May of 2009 and that it will arrive in December of 2012. The effects are supposed to be cataclysmic and incredibly destructive to life on earth. We shall see.

Tim Malone
Tim Malone

Hi Gordon,I remember President Hinckley's talk given right after 9/11 where he said that Joel 2:31 had been fulfilled. In facy, I wrote an essay about that here. I believe that the battle in the skies will not be man-made but will be of such a catastrophic nature that it will be the ONLY thing that the world will be talking about or responding to when it happens. If we are to believe the prophecies of John the Revelator, a whole bunch of things are going to be destroyed in thirds when the first angel sounds his trumpet.

Tim Malone
Tim Malone

Hi NEPT,I guess you could say I'm a fan of Anthony Larson. I'm very familiar with his works and have read his prophecy trilogy several times. I'll be attending a symposium next month where he is explaining his theories in greater detail. You can read more on the website of the symposium organizer, Doug Mendenhall of Publishing Hope. Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving your comment.

InkByte
InkByte

Tim:Read Pres. Hinckley's opening talk from the Oct 2001 conference (right after 9/11!). He states that Joel's prophecy has been fulfilled! I've not read about this as deeply as you obviously have, but I was amazed at the directness with which our previous prophet proclaimed this fulfillment. I too believe that the skies are to be filled with the battle; I also thought deeply of World War II, the Vietnam War, the Korean 'conflict', as well as current battles and how they are, so much of them, air battles. In listening to my father's remarks of his time in a WWII C-47, so much of this is SOOOO possible and likely. And what about the 'space-junk' that falls from the sky on a regular basis? All some very interesting thoughts. Thanks for your posts; I'm trying to read more and more of them.Take care and God bless!!! Gordon

NEPT
NEPT

Tim,Have you ever visited mormonprophecy.blogspot.com? The guy who runs the site is Anthony Larsen, and his site is almost exclusively dedicated to this very phenomenon--that there existed an ancient "constellation" of planets in close proximity that was disrupted, but will be restored at the Second Coming, causing the destruction and events described in the all-inclusive revelation (thing John's Revelations). Given your thoughts in this post, I think you might find his site very interesting.

Kathleen
Kathleen

There is quite a bit of Astronical evidence that the Earth has an Ancient twin, called Nemesis--a collapsed brown dwarf dwarf with a dead solar system. It has an exo-planet anciently called Nibertu.It was first noticed in 1983 by an Amateur Astonomer who got it into the Washington Post setand sox or seven other planets. It has a sharply elliptical orbit and is a large gas giant.The Myan Long calendar records 5 passings. It is aa bright star seen under the sun and off to one side.From the earliest recorded history, about 50 Thousand years ago [Joseph Cambell, it would have passed 21 times or so.It may stop the Earth from moving, be related thetower of babel and Noah's flood, and the splitting ofthe Gibralter bridge until it eroded and eventually.eft only the twin rocks of Gibralter.If you watch the Sci-fi channel they are beginningto create movies that show events that could occur during Nibertu's passing.So John thr Revelator may have seen the end of ourepoc, but not the end of the earth itself, as long as it doesn't throw nuclear facilities out of whack.Humans will probably survive, but many will also die. Then we'll have to see how we will put humptyback together again.I'm Mormon with an interest in astronomy.Kathleen

LdsNana
LdsNana

I believe that not only are many of these "things" that are prophesied to happen, physical - but I also believe that there is much in spiritual symbolism, that is apt to surprise many of us.tMDgKathryn Skaggs

In The Doghouse
In The Doghouse

Interesting insights. I believe we have a lot of assumptions that are incorrect about the circumstances surrounding the second coming. Perhaps we are so used to hearing and repeating the doctrines of men, that have been considered correct, that we are not following the guidance of the spirit enough. Just a thought.

Tim Malone
Tim Malone

Hi Euripides,Armageddon does indeed refer to a place as well as an event - a great battle just before the Savior returns. The point of my essay is that I've always thought that there would be 200 million people gathered in that valley giving battle to Israel. I am not so sure now. I am looking for a quote from a general authority to substantiate that interpretation but can only find curriculum writers who have given their opinions. I now believe that the battle will mainly be in the sky.

Euripides
Euripides

Interesting ideas, but you also need to take into account that Armageddon refers to an actual place as well. From the Hebrew Har Megiddo or Mount Megiddo which is located in northern Israel and has the plains of Har Megiddo stretching off to the east. So the idea from the Bible refers to an actual place, but indeed has taken on the symbolic meaning of the end of the world.