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'My question is this: what is the significance of this "Armageddon" and the Middle East crisis in our own time? What are the steps we Christians should take now before it is too late?' - Chukwugozie, North Africa.

The term 'Armageddon', as used in Revelation 16:16 , is linked by some with the place known as Megiddo in the Old Testament. However, there is really no linguistic link with the geographical Megiddo. The first part of the word is from the Hebrew ar, or har, meaning city or mountain. The second part, mageddon, means assembly or congregation. So Armageddon literally means, mount of assembly, or mount of the congregation, a term often used for a place of authority, or of judgment. When Lucifer rebelled against God, as represented in Isaiah 14:12-14, he said, 'I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain ... I will make myself like the Most High (vs. 13, 14).

Revelation 16:14-16 is talking about the battle of the great day of God Almighty (vs.14) in which the 'kings of the earth and of the whole world' are going to be gathered together. Verse 16 says they will be gathered together in a place called 'Armageddon'-in other words, in The Mount of Assembly. The battle of Armageddon, therefore, most probably refers to the final battle between good and evil. This is a spiritual battle rather than conventional warfare. The first phase of that battle begins when, just before the second coming of Jesus, during the second last plagues, the true followers of God are persecuted by the enemies of truth, and threatened with death. Armageddon is associated with the sixth plague. There is a view, however, that the final phase of Armageddon takes place at the end of the millennium, when all are arraigned before God-the redeemed within the New Jerusalem; the lost raised from the dead and led by Satan and his hosts against God and the New Jerusalem. The wicked, along with Satan and his hosts, are then slain, after having accepted that God is just in destroying them (Revelation chapter 20).

The only course for Christians to follow, to be prepared for Armageddon, is to make full commitment to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. The battle is not ours, but His. If we would be ready to meet Jesus, and to share in His victory, we must be wholly His. No half-and-half Christian is truly a Christian; nor will the waverer be saved (James 1:6, 7). So, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved.

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