Friday: Further Thought – Babylon and Armageddon

Further Thought: “In several places in the battle of Armageddon narrative the hideous creatures and the ugly events take the back stage for a moment and a glimpse of more personal truth appears. As we have seen, one of them is Revelation 16:15: ‘Behold, I come like a thief!

Spectacles on Bible

Image © Stan Myers from GoodSalt.com

Blessed is he who stays awake and keeps his clothes with him, so that he may not go naked and be shamefully exposed’ (NIV). This text, coming right in the middle of the one place in the Bible that actually names Armageddon, echoes many New Testament passages about personal preparation for the return of Jesus and the events of the end.

“Another such text is Revelation 17:14: ‘These will make war with the Lamb, but the Lamb will overcome them, because he is Lord of lords and King of kings — and those with him are called and chosen and faithful’ (author’s translation). Here the great war at the end engages an army of people whose primary purpose is not to destroy others with weapons, but to be faithful to their divine calling and election. This is a very different kind of battle from the ones that nations and insurgent operations still fight today. As I have said repeatedly, the battle of Armageddon is a struggle for the mind. It is also a battle for the heart — a call to heartfelt allegiance to the Lamb that was slain (Rev. 5:9-10Rev. 5:12Rev. 13:8)”. — Jon Paulien, Armageddon at the Door (Hagerstown, Md.: Autumn House Publishing, a division of Review and Herald Publishing Association, 2008), p. 193.

Discussion Questions:

  1. How could you help someone who believes that many of the events depicted in the book of Revelation will take place in the literal places mentioned? What approaches could help them see why this is a wrong way of interpreting the texts?
  2. As we have seen, the influence of Babylon extends all over the world. What are some of the teachings of Babylon, and how can we learn to discern what those teachings are and how to avoid them?
  3. In the Ellen G. White reference on Monday she said, “Not until . . . the union of the church with the world shall be fully accomplished throughout Christendom, will the fall of Babylon be complete”. Think about the phrase “the union of the church with the world”. What powerful warning is here for us?
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Source: Daily Sabbath School Lessons