As the USS Carl Vinson strike group steams ahead to the Korean Peninsula, Vice President Pence denounces the strategy of patience while in the DMZ. China marches thousands of soldiers to the border. Russia rushes to its border. Japan readies its military. Kim Jong-Un dazzles the world with lackluster missile launches. Hawaiians clean out bomb shelters, and Dennis Rodman's basketball of peace deflates.
The news headlines and water-cooler chats include catchphrases like Armageddon, World War III, the End, the Apocalypse, and Jesus' return. The frantic pace and rising tension has captured the attention of Americans, and rightfully so. Such a conflict has world-altering nuclear implications. There's no doubt this conflict will drastically impact the future fate for our nation – but if you is wanting to watch the unfolding of a direct catalyst into Armageddon and the end of the age, you are watching the wrong news story.
The possible shootout at the North Korean corral may very well be World War III, but WWIII does not have to be Armageddon. And if it is fought in Korea, China, Japan, or America, then it's not the age's final skirmish.
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I guess it's OK that the word Armageddon is thrown around to describe horrific world-altering events, but there is one specific battle cited in the Bible that will be the real Armageddon. In Revelation 16:16, we find the reference. In this passage, the existing world leaders at that time bring their armies to aid the Antichrist and his army in one last push to eradicate the Jews off the face of the Earth. In this passage the specific location is the hill that was the site of the ancient city of Megiddo. Joel 3:2 tells of the same pinpointed location, with the phrase "Valley of Jehoshaphat," which is the valley extending below Megiddo. Zechariah 14:2-3 pinpoints this same location and objective to be the final battle of this age. In Zechariah, it is said that the nations gather against Jerusalem. Ezekiel 38-39, tells of the nations aligned with the Antichrist coming to battle in Israel against Israel.
Armageddon is not just the next big battle. It is not even necessarily the war that finishes off America. Armageddon is a specific battle, and the Bible gives its location, participants, timing and results. The Antichrist, who will have already taken some Jews from Israel into imprisonment and plundered the land, will gather the armies of the world to annihilate the Jews, but Jesus returns and defeats the largest, most well-equipped army of all time. That is the age-ending battle.
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Even Russia and United States going tit-for-tat with their nuclear arsenals is not the Armageddon. So as you see, this build-up and possible war in North Korea is serious and may be some type of catalyst of the end, but it's not directly related to Armageddon. The recent voting in Turkey, on the other hand, is likely a direct catalyst to the Bible's foretold final battle.
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Scripture tells us where the Antichrist will come from, and it seems clear to be the Turkey/Syria area. Not only that, but Ezekiel details the whereabouts of his empire, and all evidence points to Turkey. This would coincide with other descriptions in Joel, Daniel and other places in the Bible.
So, any action that would consolidate power to one man in the nation of Turkey paves the way for the Antichrist. Now, do I think President Erdogan is the Antichrist? No. But I believe his reach for power is not for his glory, as he might think. It's for a successor – a successor who will be the "man of sin."
We should deeply care and watch intently to the events surrounding North Korea. We should definitely care that Russia keeps wanting to pick a fight. We should care that ISIS has tunnels in Afghanistan. These things definitely have direct bearings on our lives. We should have compassion on the people in these headlines, but World War III could happen, and it wouldn't be the end. Iraq could fall to ISIS, and that would not be the end. The United States could be evaporated, and that would not be the end.
The Bible is specific to the nature of Armageddon, and the referendum in Turkey may have empowered the chief prince who will lead the world to battle.