Decoding Armageddon (Part 5) (1-28-18)

Since the dawn of time, man has struggled to accept and adhere to God’s commandments, and has vastly suffered because of it. This unfortunate reality is how “through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned” (Romans 5:12, emphasis added). However, it is important to comprehend that Holy Writ explains that “whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness” (1st John 3:4, emphasis added). John expands on this as he teaches “he who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning” (1st John 3:8, emphasis added). In this passage, John alludes to the events that transpired at the Garden of Eden where humankind had to choose between God and Satan for the first time. There, we are able to see two antipodal influences wrestling with each other in the mind of Eve. The voice of God commanded man “of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die” (Genesis 2:17, emphasis added). Yet the voice of the ancient serpent contradicted God in the ear of Eve by saying, “you will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil” (Genesis 3:4-5, emphasis added). Notice that before being goaded by Satan to take of the fruit and eat, Eve was afraid to even touch it (Genesis 3:3). It was the fear of God’s word that kept her far from the tree, and in essence also far from sin and death. Therefore, Satan being the master manipulator, understood that it was this fear that he had to remove from the heart of men to achieve his goal of granting sin entrance into the world. The inspired Moses validates this as he describes Eve’s changed perspective of the tree after the serpent’s influence (Genesis 3:6). One spoke to give man life; the other spoke to take man’s life. Hence the battle illustrated by the Holy Spirit in the emblem of Armageddon. Solomon describes humanity’s persistent rejection of the commandments of God as “an ungodly man [who] digs up evil, and it is on his lips like a burning fire” (Proverbs 16:27, addition mine). How curious that Holy Writ places the evil that has been dug from the ground on the lips of the ungodly man. It continues to shed light on why this is so by teaching “a perverse man sows strife, and a whisperer separates the best of friends. A violent man entices his neighbor and leads him in a way that is not good. He winks his eye to devise perverse things; He purses his lips and brings about evil” (Proverbs 16:28-30, emphasis added). Observe that the ungodly man practices his wickedness by contaminating others with his influence. Through his corrupt words he succeeds to sow strife that separates best of friends and entices his neighbor to follow him on a bad path, thus bringing about evil. Indeed James was wise to promulgate that “the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell” (James 3:6, emphasis added). For this reason, the answer to the meaning of Armageddon began to appear when John describes “and I saw three unclean spirits like frogs coming out of the mouth of the dragon, out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet” (Revelation 16:13, emphasis added). The apostle’s specificity in the pericope must not be overlooked. Doing so is how the masses have arrived to an erroneous exegesis of God’s holy word pertaining to the meaning of Armageddon. The chosen number, adjective, and animal are all valuable to help properly decode John’s message. To begin, let us recall the meaning of the number three in Biblical numerology. The number three holds a very significant and precious meaning in the Bible. From the very beginning, we are told of the presence of three Heavenly Beings working as one in our creation (Genesis 1:1-31). Therefore, the consistency of three being linked to the Almighty God in Holy Scriptures is what has convinced Biblical scholars that three is the Divine number or the number of the Godhead. Hence the reason this number is of high value to the spiritual mind. The beloved apostle understood this, and without a doubt his use of it was premeditated. However, it is curious that John would associate the Divine number with “unclean spirits.” Once more his specificity must not be overseen. His cryptic use of three reveals the enemy’s obstinacy for attaining the unattainable. In other words, John is reminding his readers of Satan’s greatest desire; to be God. Remember that it was this ambition that got him cast out of heaven (Isaiah 14:12-14, Ezekiel 28:11-19). Thus it should not be surprising that he, too, would form a paralleled image of the Godhead. Observe that the three unclean spirits came forth from the mouth of the dragon, the beast, and the false prophet. This unholy alliance had already been introduced earlier in the book (Revelation 13). In that chapter, John details the fact that “the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one” (1st John 5:19). However, it is extremely important to clarify that this demonic trinity is a mockery aimed at the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit and that they do not have Divine power or authority. The source of their power consists of fear and deceit. The Master warned his disciples of this as He spoke about the future destruction of Jerusalem at the hands of Rome. The Lord exhorted, “if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There!’ do not believe it. For false Christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect” (Matthew 24:23-24, emphasis added). Of these “signs and wonders” the Lord warns about, the apostle Paul teaches that they are “according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved” (2nd Thessalonians 2:9-10, emphasis added). Thus, John applies the number three to illustrate Satan’s unquenchable thirst of being worshiped and accepted as God. Yet, the adjective and animal chosen by John reveals even more about his inspired lesson. To be continued…

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