"Love, Fear and Armageddon, Part 2"
. . . . In northern central Israel, there is a hill that overlooks the plains of Jezreel. On that hill are the ruins of an ancient royal city. It is called Megiddo, which means place of troops. The name has become synonymous with terrible conflict and grief due to the vast number of battles that have taken place there over time. Megiddo was important in the ancient world because it was a crossroads. Mediterranean countries including Israel and Egypt depended on caravans that came from the East and passed through the plains of Jezreel. Whoever controlled those plains controlled the commerce of the world in that time.
Scripture foretells that the plains of Jezreel, the valley of Armageddon, will be the sight of the last great war of this planet. For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty. . . . And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue, Armageddon. (Revelation 16:14-16) The result of that final battle will be the end of the earth as we know it and the beginning of a new kind of life, a new relationship with Earth.
Scripture is clear as to the adversaries in this great final battle called Armageddon. One takes the form of a dragon, ugly and menacing, and causes the inhabitants of Earth to worship the beast. He has great powers and performs miracles, winning the people over. And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads . . . Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six. (Revelation 13:16-18) Without that mark, no one can buy or sell, and those without it should be killed.
The other participant in this great battle takes the form of a lamb. A lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Fathers name written in their foreheads. (Revelation 14:1) With the voice of heaven, they sing a song that only they know. Those wearing the mark of the beast do not know the words to the song because they do not sing with the voice of heaven, as long as they speak with the voice of the beast.
Many of todays prophets predict that a great world dictator will take power soon, and that the inhabitants of Earth will be forced to wear tattooed numbers, necessary for buying and selling. By interpreting the message of Johns Revelation of Christ to mean that there is a ruler who is going to threaten the whole world, we can effectively externalize the message and make someone else responsible for it. We can look at nations with suspicion and fear, and justifiably add billions to our military defense fund. We can watch dictators and rulers who rise to power around the world, wondering if he or she is the one. We can watch for the number, 666, thinking that will confirm our identification of the beast. Yes, then, we will know who the beast is. Searching the horizon for the beastly dictator is part of the great conspiracy and keeps the battle alive.
Two mistakes are commonly made in interpreting the warning of Johns Revelation. One is to externalize responsibility. The other is to cast it in the future. The beast is here. His power is already revealing itself. He is already dictating to people whether they may live or die, whether they may feel good or not, whether they may feel alive or not. The beast is the animal nature within you, and it uses the senses and the appetites of that nature to rule over you.
When the appetites of the beast dictate whether you feel good or not, whether you can be happy, joyous, alive or not, whether you can express your true self or not, you are already tattooed with the mark of the beast. The beast is alive, ruling your thoughts and your actions. The dictator has claimed power over the world -- your world.
Standing on the mountaintop is the part of you that is marked with your true identity. The name of your father is written on your forehead. Standing on the mountaintop is the part of you that sings with the voice of heaven. Know who you are. Know your true relationship to your creator.
Recognize your opportunity and your responsibility, no matter what you have done in life, no matter how you have lived your life thus far, no matter how enamored you have been with the gift, causing you to forget the giver.
© Paul Solomon Foundation 1994
The Wisdom of Solomon is a book being edited and organized by Grace de Rond.