The end time in the book of Joel. Part 1.


Blow ye the trumpet in Zion and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the LORD cometh, for [it is] nigh at hand, Joel 2,1.

Joel had his ministry in Judea and Jerusalem between 835 and 805 BC. The name Joel means Lord is God. It is important to remember when the prophecies were given to Joel, because among other things we will look at the four different ‘locusts’ described in chapter 1. The background for the prophecy is an event in Joel’s time. Israel and Judea were haunted by a great swarm of locusts that left the land desolate, and contemporary records confirm Joel’s description. Because of this, there are many who only see a contemporary prophecy in the book of Joel, but I think we should lift up our eyes and see the broad lines of this prophecy.

It seems to be a biblical principle that the prophets, like what Jesus did, use familiar elements when prophesying. Jesus was an expert at using everyday events in his parables, things that the people recognized themselves in, so did the prophets in the Old Testament. Moses warned Israel before they took Canaan that if they fell from God, then punishment would follow: We read in Deuteronomy 28:38: Thou shalt carry much seed out into the field, and shalt gather [but] little in; for the locust shall consume it. Although Joel 1 is based on a real event in Israel’s history more than 800 years before Jesus was born, the whole book is still centred around future events and the end times.

Joel’s book, like the rest of the Bible, is a typological book, so it shows us image and counterimage. This is what Solomon means in Ecclesiastes 1:9 when he says: The thing that hath been (type), it [is that] which shall be (antitype); and that which is done (type) [is] that which shall be done (antitype): and [there is] no new [thing] under the sun.

Well, it is not a real swarm of locusts that will plague God’s people in the future seen from Joel’s time. I think we have to look at it in a more figurative way. In many translations and commentaries it is stated that ‘the exact identification of these locusts is unknown‘.

This book consists of only 3 chapters, which we can again divide into eight smaller parts:

Chapter 1; The country is devastated.

  1. The plagues of insects, chapter 1,1-10.
  2. The result of the drought, chapter 1,11-30.

Chapter 2; The coming day of the Lord.

  • Blow the trumpet, chapter 2,1-11.
  • The call to repentance, chapter 2,12-17.
  • Deliverance will follow repentance, chapter 2,18-27.

Chapter 3; Promised outpouring of the spirit.

  • The young will prophesy, chapter 3,1-5.
  • Judgement of Judah’s enemies, chapter 3,6-22.
  • Eternal blessing for God’s people, chapter 3,23-26.

All Bible texts are from King James Version unless otherwise stated.

The country is devastated, Joel chapter 1.

The plagues of the insects: Joel 1,1-10.

Verse 1) The word of the LORD that came to Joel the son of Pethuel.

Verse 2) Hear this, ye old men, and give ear, all ye inhabitants of the land. Hath this been in your days, or even in the days of your fathers?

Verse 3) Tell ye your children of it, and [let] your children [tell] their children, and their children another generation.

These three verses support the claim that this was an event that occurred in Joel’s time. The prophecy Joel will give is based on this event to warn the people against forsaking God. The consequences are as they always have been. Whoever forsakes God will be punished sooner or later.

The most interesting verse in this section is verse 4, where we see four different locusts, or as some say, four different stages in the locust’s life. These are the palmerworm, the locust, the cankerworm, and the caterpillar. Most people believe that these are real locusts that the prophet is talking about, but one wonders whether it must not be put into the context of the cosmic conflict. There were undoubtedly real locusts in Joel’s day, but the locusts he prophesies about are just as surely figurative locusts. These are the ones who destroy God’s people.

Verse 4) That which the palmerworm «gazam» hath left hath the locust «‘arbeh» eaten; and that which the locust hath left hath the cankerworm «yelec» eaten; and that which the cankerworm hath left hath the caterpillar «chaciyl» eaten.

As mentioned above, there are many different explanations for these grasshoppers. In his book «The New Tesatment» Fredrik Wisløff says the following about the locusts: «Rodents, swarmer, lickers and scavengers are possibly names for four different kinds of locusts, or perhaps rather: four stages in the locust’s development from larva to full-grown animal. The meaning of the verse is that the damage is total. The grasshoppers leave nothing«. (He uses the Norwegian Bible DNB 1930 as the basis for his text.) Wisløff only sees the contemporary fulfilment of the prophecy.

I must add at once that here both the Hebrew words gazam, ‘arbeh, yelec and chaciyl could and should have been translated more precisely. In English, they are translated respectively as the palmerworm, the locust, the cankerworm and the caterpillar. This translation is based on the cross-denominational translations, or the ecumenical translations.

Gazam is translated to palmworm and is a garden tiger moth (a type of grasshopper) of the genus Arctiinae.

‘Arbeh is translated to locust in English and is grasshoppers (which consists of various species of short-horned grasshoppers) also of the genus Arctiinae.

Yelec is translated to cankerworm and is the larva of the sphinx moth in the family sphingidae.

Chaciyl is translated to caterpillar and is the larval stage of the butterfly genus lepidoptera.

Perhaps we should not attach so much importance to these translations. In the best ecumenical spirit, some English translations do not hide the fact that there are cross-denominational or ecumenical thoughts behind such a translation. Regardless of whether it is the larvae of butterflies, moths, grasshoppers or whether it is in the various stages of development that the grasshoppers lay waste to the land, the most important thing is and will be what the text conveys.

In a typological context and in the context of the end times, it is particularly interesting that the eighth plague that struck Egypt was locusts (Exodus 10:1-20). This plague did not affect Israel but was in a way a warning of an imminent deliverance from Egyptian captivity. Like Israel in Egypt, we too are surrounded by enemies on all sides.

Verse 5) Awake, you drunkards, and weep, and wail, all you drinkers of wine, because of the sweet wine, for it is cut off from your mouth, (English Standard Version).

Verse 5 says that the sweet wine is cut off. What is wine associated with in the Bible? Jesus says he is the vine (John 15,5), and in Revelation 17,2 we read that the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication. We then have on the one hand «the sweet wine» and Jesus as the «vine«, and on the other hand «the wine of her fornication«, which can be said to be fermented wine because it has an intoxicating effect on those who consume «the wine of her fornication«.

Getting drunk, as here in verse 5, is not something that happens by carefully tasting the vine of this whore. It is only after consuming a certain amount that intoxication begins to affect us, and this is probably what Joel had in mind when he said people were drunk.

What happens to us when we are drunk? We lose control over our thoughts and actions. So when God’s people are drunk in the vine of her fornication, then destruction will come. That is when we follow her, the fallen churches voice instead of following the voice of God. As we know, it had fateful consequences for Adam to follow Eve’s voice instead of following God’s voice when they ate from the forbidden tree (Genesis 3:17).

The sweet wine is unfermented wine, the pure and fresh word of God that Jesus taught when He was here the first time. It is this pure and unadulterated teaching the locusts are destroying by introducing paganism and human traditions into the church.

In verse 6 it is said that a nation is come up upon God’s land. But what is God’s land a picture of?

Let’s see what Malachi 3:12 says: And all nations shall call you blessed: for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the LORD of hosts.

As we see, God calls his people the glorious land, and this is what the destructive locusts want to destroy. If we go to Revelation 9:3-4, we read about some locusts coming out of the smoke from the abyss:

  • And there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth: and unto them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power. And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads.

If we read this verse together with Joel chapter 1, we will be able to get a clear understanding of who these locusts in the book of Joel are.

It is more than interesting that words like «the grass of the earth neither any green thing, neither any tree» are used, and we understand from the context of Revelation 9:4 that the grass, the green and the trees are a picture of certain people with special characteristics. This is thus used to describe God’s people. They are the ones that the locusts in Revelation 9:4 are not allowed to touch, because at this time we are after the sealing of God’s faithful remnant. We understand this from the fact that they can only harm those people who do not have God’s seal on their foreheads.

What Joel is doing is warning God’s people not to get caught in Satan’s snare, because if they do they will be devoured by the locusts. We therefore understand that these locusts are the devil’s evil angelic army, and this evil angelic army has only one goal in mind, and that is to lay waste the glorious land, that is, to wipe out God’s faithful remnant. For this they use all the aids at their disposal, including earthly nations.

But why are there four different types of grasshoppers?

Does it mean four stages of the grasshopper’s development, or do they mean something else?

If we isolate Judea, as an image of God’s people, we see something interesting. First to why I do not mention Israel in this context. They were totally destroyed by Assyria when Sennacherib conquered Israel in the year 722-721 BC. and led the survivors into captivity beyond the river, that is, the Euphrates. After that, the survivors have been assimilated into the peoples they were abducted to.

When Judea alone represented God’s people, they were first oppressed by Babylon, then by Medo-Persia, then by Greece and finally by the Roman Empire. If we insert this into verse 4, we get this representation: That which the palmerworm Babylon hath left hath the locust Medo-Persia eaten; and that which the locust hath left hath the cankerworm Greece eaten; and that which the cankerworm hath left hath the caterpillar Rome eaten.

The first three kingdoms have done what they could to oppress God’s people, and the fourth kingdom is still at it to exterminate, if possible, God’s faithful remnant.

Verse 6) For a nation is come up upon my land, strong, and without number, whose teeth [are] the teeth of a lion, and he hath the cheek teeth of a great lion.

Verse 7) He hath laid my vine waste and barked my fig tree: he hath made it clean bare, and cast [it] away; the branches thereof are made white.

Verse 6 gives clear associations to Babylon. After all, Babylon is explained as a lion in Daniel 7. Nebuchadnezzar besieged Jerusalem three times, and in the end everyone was taken to Babylon in captivity, and Jerusalem and all the cities in Judea were destroyed and the temple laid in ruins. Jesus uses the fig tree as an image of the Jewish people in a parable, (Matthew 21:18-19). Although it is not clearly stated that the fig tree is a picture of the Jewish people, this statement is a prophecy of the Jews’ final status as God’s special people.

Jesus knew what awaited Him, and that the Jews would demand Him crucified. On Friday in Easter week, Jesus was brought before the people by Pilate, who said to them: Behold, your king! But the Jews did not want to know anything about Jesus, so they answered Pilate: Away with [him], away with [him], crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Shall I crucify your King? The chief priests answered, We have no king but Caesar, (John 19:15).

Abraham’s carnal descendants, the 12 tribes of Israel, were to bear fruit as God expected them to. They were supposed to bring the gospel to the world, but they isolated themselves and kept themselves clearly separated from other peoples and failed to preach the message of salvation in the Messiah, the One they were soon to crucify.

Although God’s people, at that time, the Jews, were allowed to return home under Medo-Persian rule, they were still oppressed by them. When Greece conquered Medo-Persia, they were treated very badly by Alexander the Great’s descendants, and especially badly by Antiochus IV Epiphanes. When the Romans conquered the Greek kingdoms, the oppression of God’s people (the Jews) continued until 132 when the Jews were exiled from Jerusalem after the failed revolt against Hadrian, led by Bar Kokhva.

The military phase of the Roman Empire also began to persecute and oppress the Christians, something the religious phase of the Roman Empire continued when the church in Rome gained power and has continued to do so uninterruptedly to our time.

Verse 8) Lament like a virgin girded with sackcloth for the husband of her youth.

Verse 9) The meat offering, and the drink offering is cut off from the house of the LORD; the priests, the LORD’s ministers, mourn.

Verse 10) The field is wasted, the land mourneth; for the corn is wasted: the new wine is dried up, the oil languisheth.

Her ser vi resultatet når de bokstavelige gresshoppenes har fortært alt grønt før det kunne bli høstet inn. Dette var et bilde på det som skulle komme over Judea, om de ikke vendte om til Herren. Det er også en klar advarsel til oss i vår tid om at ødeleggelsen vil komme over oss dersom vi fjerner oss fra Gud. Det er bare hos Gud og Ham alene vi kan finne frelse.

The result of the drought: Joel 1,11-20.

Verse 11) Be ye ashamed, O ye husbandmen; howl, O ye vinedressers, for the wheat and for the barley; because the harvest of the field is perished.

Verse 12) The vine is dried up, and the fig tree languisheth; the pomegranate tree, the palm tree also, and the apple tree, [even] all the trees of the field, are withered: because joy is withered away from the sons of men.

Verse 13) Gird yourselves, and lament, ye priests: howl, ye ministers of the altar: come, lie all night in sackcloth, ye ministers of my God: for the meat offering and the drink offering is withholden from the house of your God.

Verse 14) Sanctify ye a fast, call a solemn assembly, gather the elders [and] all the inhabitants of the land [into] the house of the LORD your God, and cry unto the LORD.

Verse 15) Alas for the day! for the day of the LORD [is] at hand, and as a destruction from the Almighty shall it come.

Verse 16) Is not the meat cut off before our eyes, [yea], joy and gladness from the house of our God?

Verse 17) The seed is rotten under their clods, the garners are laid desolate, the barns are broken down; for the corn is withered.

Verse 18) How do the beasts groan! the herds of cattle are perplexed, because they have no pasture; yea, the flocks of sheep are made desolate.

Verse 19) O LORD, to thee will I cry: for the fire hath devoured the pastures of the wilderness, and the flame hath burned all the trees of the field.

Verse 20) The beasts of the field cry also unto thee: for the rivers of waters are dried up, and the fire hath devoured the pastures of the wilderness.

An alas (or woe) which we find in verse 15 of this chapter, foretells as we see judgment and destruction. If we go to Revelation, we find woes uttered in seven different verses, and they are directed a) at the world in general and b) at a power factor in particular.

In Revelation 8:13; 9:12; 11:14 and 12:12 the woes are aimed at those who live on earth, that is, all of humanity. In Revelation 8:13 it says: … Woe, woe, woe, to the inhabiters of the earth … This is a warning about the coming acts of judgment that will fall upon all who live on earth in the form of plagues.

In Revelation 18:10; 18:16 and 18:19, on the other hand, it is this particular factor of power that the cries of woe are aimed at: (verse 10) Standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, Alas, alas that great city Babylon, that mighty city! for in one hour is thy judgment come … (verse 16) And saying, Alas, alas, that great city, that was clothed in fine linen, and purple, and scarlet, and decked with gold, and precious stones, and pearls! … (and verse 19) And they cast dust on their heads, and cried, weeping, and wailing, saying, Alas, alas, that great city, wherein were made rich all that had ships in the sea by reason of her costliness! for in one hour is she made desolate.

When we read this passage we see that the whole earth is suffering, not only the people but also the animals and the planet Earth too. Everyone is suffering because of what the locusts have done to the earth.

The coming day of the Lord, Joel chapter 2.

Blow the trumpet: Joel 2,1-11.

Verse 1) Blow ye the trumpet in Zion and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the LORD cometh, for [it is] nigh at hand.

Verse 2) A day of darkness and of gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness, as the morning spread upon the mountains: a great people and a strong; there hath not been ever the like, neither shall be any more after it, [even] to the years of many generations.

Why should the trumpet be blown? In ancient times, the guards who looked after the city walls always carried a trumpet (or a horn). When the enemy approached, the trumpet was blown to alert the inhabitants that something was about to happen. Also when a new king was to be installed, the trumpet was blown to announce this good news, and the trumpets were used in connection with the annual festivals to call people together.

Now, when the greatest event in history is about to take place, it is nothing but right and reasonable that it is announced by the watchmen who walk the walls and scout for Jesus’ return that they blow the trumpets to announce that the Lord is coming; Behold, the bridegroom cometh …» (Matthew 25:6).

It is now that the day of the Lord is coming upon us like a storm. It says that all shall tremble, for the day of the Lord is a day of darkness and of gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness, as the morning spread upon the mountains: a great people and a strong; there hath not been ever the like, neither shall be any more after it, [even] to the years of many generations.

Both Zephaniah and Amos show us the same scenario:

  • Zephaniah 1:14-16  The great day of the LORD [is] near, [it is] near, and hasteth greatly, [even] the voice of the day of the LORD: the mighty man shall cry there bitterly. That day [is] a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness, A day of the trumpet and alarm against the fenced cities, and against the high towers.
  • Amos 5:18 Woe unto you that desire the day of the LORD! to what end [is] it for you? the day of the LORD [is] darkness, and not light.
  • Amos 5:20 [Shall] not the day of the LORD [be] darkness, and not light? even very dark, and no brightness in it?

It says that all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the LORD cometh, but do all men have reason to tremble when Jesus returns? When Jesus returns, he will deliver his faithful people, the small remnant who keep God’s ten commandments, Jesus’ faith and have the spirit of prophecy. Do these have reason to tremble? I mean it.

All will tremble on that day, the wicked in terror of what will come, because they have been offered salvation but have dismissed it as nonsense. God’s people, on the other hand, will tremble in reverence of Him who comes to deliver them.

Verse 3) A fire devoureth before them; and behind them a flame burneth: the land [is] as the garden of Eden before them, and behind them a desolate wilderness; yea, and nothing shall escape them.

When Jesus returns, it is both to deliver his people and to punish the wicked. Although these are two different events, they are presented in this verse as two simultaneous events, but we know that the wicked will receive their final punishment after the thousand years. Revelation 20,5 is probably the verse in the Bible that describes a situation when a verse can deal with two events separated, as here by thousand years: But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This [is] the first resurrection.

When we get that far, everything that reminds us of sin will be burned up and wiped out once and for all.

Verse 4) The appearance of them [is] as the appearance of horses; and as horsemen, so shall they run.

Verse 5) Like the noise of chariots on the tops of mountains shall they leap, like the noise of a flame of fire that devoureth the stubble, as a strong people set in battle array.

Here again I see a clear link to 1) Revelation 9:7, which tells about the locusts that looked like horses and were ready for battle, and to 2) Isaiah 47:17, which says that they are only like straw, and that the fire will burn them up.

Verse 6) Before their face the people shall be much pained: all faces shall gather blackness.

Verse 7) They shall run like mighty men; they shall climb the wall like men of war; and they shall march everyone on his ways, and they shall not break their ranks.

Verse 8) Neither shall one thrust another; they shall walk everyone in his path: and [when] they fall upon the sword, they shall not be wounded.

Verse 9) They shall run to and fro in the city; they shall run upon the wall they shall climb up upon the houses; they shall enter in at the windows like a thief.

These four verses give associations to what John says in Revelation 6:15-16: And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: The wicked are terrified of what awaits them at Jesus’ return, and they try everything possible to save themselves from God’s wrath, but in vain.

Verse 10) The earth shall quake before them; the heavens shall tremble: the sun and the moon shall be dark, and the stars shall withdraw their shining:

Verse 10 tells us that the earth shall quake before them; the heavens shall tremble: the sun and the moon shall be dark, and the stars shall withdraw their shining. This is the antitype of the events that took place in the 18th and 19th centuries, and which heralded the transition from prophetic times to the end times.

October 31, 1755, the Lisbon earthquake.

May 19, 1780, the sun became black as sackcloth of hair.

On the night of May 20, 1980, the moon became as blood.

The night of November 13, 1833, the stars of heaven fell unto the earth.

Verse 11) And the LORD shall utter his voice before his army: for his camp [is] very great: for [he is] strong that executeth his word: for the day of the LORD [is] great and very terrible; and who can abide it?

This verse ends with, and who can abide it? which is the same question as Revelation 6:17: and who shall be able to stand?

Malachi 3:2 also describes this day in the same way. But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he [is] like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap:

The call to repentance: Joel 2,12-17.

Verse 12) Therefore also now, saith the LORD, turn ye [even] to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning.

Verse 13) And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the LORD your God: for he [is] gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil.

Verse 14) Who knoweth [if] he will return and repent, and leave a blessing behind him; [even] a meat offering and a drink offering unto the LORD your God?

Even though the day of the Lord is upon us, there is still time to turn to God. We know from scripture and from the spirit of prophecy that the Door of Mercy will not be closed until Jesus has finished his ministry in the heavenly temple. What we don’t know is when He is done there. It can happen at any moment. We also know that the whole world must be put to the last great test of loyalty. Who will you worship; God or Satan? What commandments will you keep; God’s Ten Commandments or the Pope’s ten commandments. These questions are something everyone must decide on when the Sunday law comes.

But God is a gracious God, full of mercy and love, who will run to meet all who turn to Him and asks for forgiveness. God has therefore raised up a people who will preach this message in the end times. It is perhaps the most difficult task humans have ever been given by God, because the whole world joins together, and unites under the umbrella of the king of the north – the papacy. But, whatever befalls us, we must still fully proclaim what has been laid upon us.

Jonah received a message for the people of Nineveh. Turn to the Lord, or judgment will come in 40 days, and you will all be wiped out. Jonah was perhaps the prophet who had the best insight into God’s infinite and boundless love and grace. Jonah argued with God because he did not want to go to Nineveh and preach the message of judgment, because he was 100% sure that if the inhabitants of Nineveh repented and turned to God, the judgment would not come, and he says in Jonah 3,9: Who can tell [if] God will turn and repent, and turn away from his fierce anger, that we perish not?

Verse 15) Blow the trumpet in Zion, sanctify a fast, call a solemn assembly.

This is where it starts to get interesting. From ancient times, a holy assembly was held on the mount of the congregation, and now we are approaching one of the most misunderstood and distorted expressions in the entire Bible: Armageddon. This has become hyper topical after the war between Israel and Hamas broke out in October 2023. Many evangelical and charismatic Christians are now waiting for the last great physical war to be fought in a place called Armageddon. But what is actually right?

Armageddon, a physical war against God’s people?

Revelation 16:16: And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.

We know through the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy that what happened to Israel when they left Egypt will happen again when we get to the point on the timeline that corresponds to Israel’s exodus from Egypt. After the tenth plague, a death sentence will be issued on God’s people, because the people of the world believe that it is those who do not worship the image of the first beast who are responsible for all the plagues that have plagued the earth, because the seven last plagues do not touch God’s faithful rest in the end times.

The sixth vial, which describes Armageddon, then in reality describes the antitype of what happened in Egypt when Pharaoh persecuted God’s people to exterminate them. When Israel had left Egypt this was not considered a plague, but something that followed after all the ten plagues had fallen.

It is said of Armageddon (Revelation 16:16) that this is the place where the last great battle between Christ and Satan will take place. Armageddon has been explained in many ways, and the most common explanation is that it is a physical location in modern-day Israel where the last great war will be fought. But if so, is there a place in today’s Israel called Armageddon, and is this place big enough to receive two physical armies, one of which, the horsemen’s army, is 200 million soldiers? (Revelation 9:16) What is important in this context is what Armageddon is.

He in verse 16 refers directly back to the dragon in verse 13. This alone should be sufficient information to see that it is not a war between earthly powers. Another interesting word in this verse is place. The Greek word for place is to´pos. This word translates as place, location, area, area, country, possibility, and opportunity.

Those who choose to translate with a geographical location believe that it most likely refers to the valley of Megiddo, or the valley of Jezreel, or the plain of Esdraelon as it is also called, which extends from the Carmel Heights and Mount Carmel in the west and to the Jordan Valley in the east. This was Israel’s greatest battlefield from ancient times, and at this place the British and Turks met in a major battle during the First World War.

This is the literal translation, but as this is a prophecy we should understand the words in a figurative sense. Then it seems more logical to translate with possibility or opportunity, and then in the form of possibility or opportunity to set up a mindset. We then have a situation where the wicked gradually set up a mindset that involves blaming God’s faithful people for all the misery that afflicts the wicked through these plagues, because they see that the plagues do not affect God’s faithful remnant, and therefore will they try to kill them.

Armageddon has been explained in many ways over time, but we must all realize that the battle between Christ and Satan is a battle that takes place on a spiritual level, and that this must always be the backdrop to the understanding of the Bible. The question is: Who will receive your worship?

As far as we know, there is no geographical place that has been called, or is called, Armageddon. We must therefore find out what the meaning of the word is.

Firstly, the word Armageddon is composed of two Hebrew words, ‘har’ which means mountain, and ‘mo’ed’ (mageddón) which in the Old Testament is used to describe a congregation or an assembly. The symbolism here then becomes mountain, which is the place where God has revealed himself throughout history, and congregation or assembly, which describes God’s people.

In Isaiah 14:13, Har-mo`ed has been translated as the mount of the congregation, and this alludes to Solomon’s temple, which in Solomon’s time was located north of old Jerusalem. It has always been Satan’s desire and goal since before he was cast out of heaven to take God’s place, and we can then read it so that the three unclean spirits, with Satan at the head, gather the people of the world on the mount of the congregation, in a figurative sense , precisely with the intention of usurping God’s place. This fits into the story of the locusts that devastate the land, not physical locusts but spiritual locusts that destroy God’s people.

Secondly, we must look at the second part of Armageddon – mageddón – for which there are two different explanations.

The first explanation is that mageddón is derived from the place Meggido, which we find in many places, like here in1 Kings 9:15: And this [is] the reason of the levy which king Solomon raised; for to build the house of the LORD, and his own house, and Millo, and the wall of Jerusalem, and Hazor, and Megiddo, and Gezer … // … and in Zechariah 12:11: In that day shall there be a great mourning in Jerusalem, as the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the valley of Megiddon.

The second explanation is that mageddón is derived from the Hebrew word mo’ed, which throughout the Old Testament is used to describe when the assembly, or congregation, should hold a fixed feast or gathering. What is Joel 2:15 saying? Blow the trumpet in Zion, sanctify a fast, call a solemn assembly: It should therefore be called to a gathering, a holy assembly.

The first explanation places Armageddon as a geographical place – mageddón, and the second explanation suggests a connection with the great conflict between Jesus and Satan. Since it is this conflict that is the backdrop for most of the Bible, and that the symbolism in the use of the word points to mountains, which is the place where God has revealed himself through all time, I believe that we should consider the second alternative as the correct one the explanation.

As mentioned above, Har-mo`ed has been translated to the mountain of the congregation in Isaiah 14:13, and it alludes to Solomon’s temple, which in Solomon’s time was located north of old Jerusalem, and for the record, God’s throne is located in north!

Joel 3:7 calls the place Jehoshaphat’s valley: … I will also gather all nations and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat and will plead with them there for my people and [for] my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land, (the peoples here are the Gentiles).

We can then read it so that the three unclean spirits gather the people of the world on the mount of congregation to take God’s place. There may seem to be a contradiction here, but the explanation is that the Bible here describes a typology. Jehoshaphat’s valley was the place where God intervened and fought for his people. Jerusalem is an image of God’s people. So what the Bible is telling us here is that God will intervene again and fight for His people again.

In Revelation 16:12 we have an expression that we should look at more closely: The kings of the east. Who are the kings of the east, and what role do they play in this battle? As usual, there are many different interpretations of what these the kings of the east are, and not least who they are. And once again several of the kingdoms of the East, China, Russia, Turkey, or a coalition of these are mentioned.

This has changed over the course of history, because those who choose interpretations that are not based on Biblical principles choose the nations that receive the most attention in the current news. This just has to be wrong. You can’t use current news, because what was suitable yesterday is not suitable today, and tomorrow there will probably be a new alternative. It is an inconsistent interpretation that both confuses and destroys more than it helps with understanding.

As we see from the text under the sixth vial, a clear distinction is made between the kings from the east and the three unclean spirits. They manifest themselves in two very different ways. The way will be prepared for the kings from the east, while the unclean spirits out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. We do, however, have some texts in the Bible that give us clear clues as to who or what we are talking about. In Mark 1:2-3 we read about John the Baptist who was supposed to prepare the way for Jesus Christ: As it is written in the prophets, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee. The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.

In Malachi 3:1 we read this: Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts … and in Isaiah 40:3: The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.

The kings from the east are an image of Jesus’ return when He comes together with His angels. Jesus comes from the east, which is implicit in Matthew 24:27: For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. This is an interpretation that is equally correct regardless of the current news, and which is completely independent of current kingdoms that come and go.

On the basis of this, we now have a backdrop, and then it is easier to catch the thread. In the north-west of Jehoshaphat’s valley, the Jezreel valley, or the valley of Megiddon as it is also called, there is a mountain called Carmel. It was here at Carmel that Elijah put the people to an election. (See 1 Kings 18.) The agenda at that time on Mount Carmel was the same as it is today. Who will you serve, the Lord God or Baal?

The valley of Jehoshaphat, the valley of Megiddo and Armageddon describe the same thing, it is the same place, and we can really call it the valley of choice. This is an interpretation that will be just as valid in the very last end times as it was yesterday, precisely because we will all be put to the last and ultimate choice, we must all choose who we want to follow and worship, God or Satan.

This is exactly the same choice that God’s people were given by Elijah on Carmel, and this is what the battle between Jesus and Satan is about in a nutshell. Now in the end times, it is the third Elijah, or the Seventh-day Adventists, who puts the people to this choice, and the question is still the same: Who will you serve, the Lord God, or Ba’al through human commands?

This battle for worship takes place in a place the Bible calls Armageddon. This battle is not fought in a geographical location that we can find on the world map, but this battle is fought in reality inside my head and in your head, in my mind and in your mind. Everyone has to make a choice at one time or another before the door of mercy closes.

The choice the person had made at the moment of death will follow the person into eternity, and this can be called the individual door of grace. There is also a collective door of grace that will be closed when Jesus is finished in the heavenly temple, and the choices we have then made will follow the living into eternity.

The battle that God’s faithful remnant will have to fight will not be over, but it will intensify even after the door of mercy has been closed and God’s remnant has been sealed. For still the torments that the wicked must go through are not over, nor are the trials that God’s people are subjected to. This battle has been going on for a long time already and will intensify as we approach the end times, and the battle will only get worse and worse for God’s faithful remnant until we see the Savior coming on the clouds of heaven to redeem his faithful remnant.

God’s remnant in the end times will at some point be delivered from the end-time Egypt, and it will happen shortly after the last plague has fallen on the people of the world. When the kings from the east come, after the last plague has fallen upon the earth, this is the last act in the history of the world as we know it. Jesus returns to earth to deliver his faithful people in a miraculous way.

When Israel had crossed the Red Sea, and saw that God had destroyed their enemy forever, they sang a song to praise God for what He had done for them. God had kept his promise and redeemed them from the oppressor.

In Revelation 14:3 we read that God’s faithful remnant in the end times, those who have been sealed with the seal of the living God, also sing a song to God’s glory because they have experienced and not least survived something that no one else on earth has experienced before, and that is why they … sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred [and] forty [and] four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth.

Verse 16) Gather the people, sanctify the congregation, assemble the elders, gather the children, and those that suck the breasts: let the bridegroom go forth of his chamber, and the bride out of her closet.

Verse 17) Let the priests, the ministers of the LORD, weep between the porch and the altar, and let them say, Spare thy people, O LORD, and give not thine heritage to reproach, that the heathen should rule over them: wherefore should they say among the people, Where [is] their God?

If the book of Joel deals with the end times, then who are these priests who serve the Lord in the end times? Didn’t the priesthood end when Jesus died on the cross?

Those who stand weeping between the porch and the altar are God’s remnant in the end times who pray for those of God’s people who are still in Babylon that they may come out of her (Revelation 18:4), as Abraham did for the righteous who lived in Sodom, Gomorrah, and the cities about them. Peter says it like this: But ye [are] a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light, (1 Peter 2:9).