In 1968 I was a Freshman at Oklahoma Christian College. I was being introduced to the Jehovah’s Witness cult. One of their main publications, Awake magazine was setting a date for the “Battle of Armageddon.” According to the cult that battle would bring to the world their version of the Lord’s second coming. Of course, it remains far removed from the teaching of God’s Word. The article stated, “…we have the evidence required, all of it, and it is overwhelming! …many parts of the great sign of the last days are here, together with verifying Bible chronology.” The author went on to explain in great detail that Armageddon would come no later than the year 1975. It was in 1976 that I viewed a national news broadcast (ABC), covering all the main events of the world for 1975? Guess what? There was not one mention of the “Battle of Armageddon.” Not one!
Moses, by true inspiration wrote this warning,
And if thou say in thy heart, How shall we know the word which Jehovah hath not spoken? When a prophet speaketh in the name of Jehovah, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which Jehovah hath not spoken: the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously, thou shalt not be afraid of him” (Deut. 18:21-22).
Awake magazine remains the primary evangelistic tool of the Jehovah’s Witness cult. This failed prophecy was therefore spoken in the name of Jehovah! Since the “thing” spoken did not come to pass, we need not fear or listen to their prophecies.
For many years now, we have noticed that anytime there is an international crisis, the cry has gone up from Jehovah’s Witnesses and a host of other false prophets making the startling announcement that “Armageddon is approaching!” “The end is near!” “Christ is Coming Soon!” (There is even a song in many hymnals advocating that premillennial slant)! Remember the War in Vietnam, the War in Iraq, and now the War in Ukraine? What shall we answer (1 Pet. 3:15)?
“And they gathered them together into the place which is called in Hebrew Har-Mageddon” (Rev. 16:16). This is the only mention of Armageddon in the entire Bible and it means, “the mountain of Megiddo.” It refers to a man-made hill in Palestine. The background of this figure is found in the city of Megiddo, the name Megiddo literally means a “place for the gathering of troops).
Megiddo was on the main passage linking Syria and Egypt, therefore, a strategic military location. Numerous battles were fought here as it overlooks the Valley of Jezreel (Plain of Megiddo). The late brother J.T. Marlin showed pictures that he had taken at that place. He said the entire space would be roughly 14 by 20 miles. Then he said, “If you were to take all our troops, tanks, artillery fire, etc. that there would not be enough space for the Army of the U.S.A., much less all the armies of all the nations of the world!”
This fortress with its commanding view of the Valley of Jezreel is supposed to be the location of the Battle of Armageddon. Hal Lindsey championed such a view in his book, The Late, Great Planet Earth, and also released a movie by the same title. I read the book and saw the movie. Mr. Lindsey, a false prophet according to Deuteronomy 18:21-22, exclaimed that 200,000,000 forces would be assembled in that physical plain for the great “Battle of Armageddon.” That many soldiers standing shoulder to shoulder would not fit into that space.
Christ warned of those who would become false prophets at the hearing of “wars and rumors of wars…” (Matt. 24:6-ff). Those verses refer to the coming destruction of Jerusalem and not to His second coming. Later in the chapter Jesus does address His final return, “But of that day and hour knoweth no one, not even the angels of heaven, neither the Son, but the Father only…ye know not on what day your Lord cometh…be ye also ready; for in an hour that ye think not the Son of man cometh…”(Matt. 24:36, 42, 44). The Jehovah’s Witnesses and other hordes of false prophets cannot say that Jesus Christ did not warn them! The only real question that we sometimes sing is, “Are You Ready for that Day to Come?”