Armageddon — The Final Battle
Tis Finished! Yes, the race is run,
The battle fought, the victory won.1
“For generations fundamentalist Christians have believed that ‘Armageddon’ refers to the plain of Megiddo in northern Palestine, where they believe that the final battle between good and evil will take place. . . . However, the term ‘Armageddon’ is derived from the Hebrew expression Har Mo’ed (‘Mount of Assembly’; cf. Isaiah 14:13) and/or from Har Migdo (‘God's Fruitful Mountain’), which is taken to refer to Mount Zion (e.g., Joel 2:1-3; 3:16, 17, 21). Thus, ‘Armageddon’ undoubtedly refers to the Temple and related sacred areas in Jerusalem.”2
It is certainly true that “[t]hroughout history the Jerusalem Temple(s) were repeatedly attacked, torn, robbed and eventually destroyed.”3 Yet while the violence against the Hebrew Temple(s) resonates with the battle of Armageddon, there is a far deeper truth that must be addressed.
The Battle Fought
The ultimate truth of the First Temple, built during the reign of King Solomon, was its archetypal representation of God himself (divinity) becoming human. This was fully realized by the incarnation of God as Jesus Christ. Thus, Jesus himself was the fulfillment of the First Temple symbol.4
Strangely, however, the Second Temple, constructed under the rulership of Ezra and Nehemiah after the Exile, became the archetype of the human becoming divine. This was assumed to be fulfilled on the Day of Atonement when the High Priest entered the Most Holy Place and there achieved divinity.5
This archetypal tension was further deepened by the Creed of Athanasius, drafted by St. Athanasius (293?-373), Patriarch of Alexandria. This creed declared, “The Son of God became man so that man might become God.”6 This has been accepted and defended by most Christian groups for more than a millennium.
The Victory Won
The struggle between the opposing beliefs that God became human or that the human ultimately becomes divine is soon to be fully unveiled. The fact is that God did become human as Jesus Christ. Yet the ultimate fiction — the Gnostic (“knowing”) belief that mankind can possess God — now virtually envelopes our postmodern world.7
This battle of “Armageddon” (Har Mo’ed or the Temple) that has been waged for over two millennia is about to be finalized. Soon God as Jesus Christ will appear victoriously (Acts 1:11), raise the dead (Matthew 25:31, 32; John 12:32; 1 Corinthians 15:22; 1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17), conduct the judgment (John 5:22, 27; 12:31; Hebrews 12:23), and transform all Creation so that mankind will become and remain fully human (2 Timothy 4:8; 2 Peter 3:13; 1 John 3:2).
- Samuel Stennett, in Church Hymnal (Warburton, Victoria, Australia: Signs Publishing Co.), p. 419. (go back)
- “Armageddon — Plain or Mountain?” Outlook (December 2010). (go back)
- Ibid. (go back)
- See “The First Temple: United Monarchical Period,” Outlook (November 2001). (go back)
- See “‘Ye Shall Be As Gods,’” Outlook (March/April 2004). Cf. Margaret Barker, “Beyond the Veil of the Temple: The High Priestly Origin of the Apocalypses,” at www.marquette.edu/maqom/veil.html. (go back)
- Quoted in Matthew Tsahanika, “Is Man to Become God?” at www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-religion/1827568/posts. (go back)
- “Gnostics claim that a fallen god was responsible for Creation and used it to capture and imprison the true, high god in material bodies. Furthermore, Gnostics believe that only the acquisition of inner knowledge can liberate the imprisoned god from the fallen bodies and return the true ‘self’ to its heavenly abode.” — “Out of Egypt I: Introduction to Gnosticism,” Outlook (January 2011). (go back)