THE FUTURE OF ARMENIA AND THE BATTLE OF ARMAGEDDON
Written by Reverend George Filian and originally published in 1896
I am going to predict the future of Armenia. Not in the usual sense of guessing at it, but in the literal sense of foretelling the truth. I am not a prophet of God, yet my prediction is based on facts, and its accuracy should be given some credit from the way my predictions two or three years ago about the recent atrocities that have already taken place, have come true to the letter. At that time no American or European could be made to believe that such horrors would be perpetrated; but I said they would be, and they were. And even now the Western peoples are nearly as blind as ever; they cannot see the future of Armenia even with all the facts before them. Many have lost hope in it altogether; they think Turkey will exist forever, and exterminate the last of the Armenians. Doubtless I should in their place, but I was born in Turkey and know the situation.
This, then, is the truth as I forecast it:—
Till the end of next year the Armenians will suffer more than ever before. Perhaps a million will be massacred yet, not only in Turkey, but in Russia. The Jews, also, in great numbers, and not only the Jews and the Armenians, but the Americans and Englishmen too. The key rests in the character of the present Czar. Nicholas II is not like his father or grandfather, a strong man. I will not discuss the moral character of the two Alexanders, but I allow their powerful intellects and strong wills. They favored the Armenians. But the present Czar has no strength of character at all; he is weak both in intellect and morals. The Sultan is called the sick man of Turkey, but the Czar is the sick man of Russia. His short-sightedness in upholding Turkey is one proof. Up to the time of the coronation next May you will see no more massacres, for the Czar has ordered the Sultan to hold his hand, that there may be a peaceful ceremony, not clouded with horrors; that over, he will not only give the Sultan leave to unchain his dogs, but he will unchain his own. The atrocities in Turkish Armenia will be redoubled, and the Czar himself inflict on the Armenians all that has been inflicted on the Jews. Even this is not all: The Czar will instruct the Sultan to get rid of all American missionaries, either banishing them as breeders of sedition, or, if they refuse to go, requiring the United States government to order them back. Probably the government will obey. Probably, also, the missionaries will not obey the government; they will stay where they are. Then the Sultan will say he is not responsible for their lives, and will issue secret orders to kill them, which will be carried out. Further, the Czar will begin a fresh persecution of the Jews, and order the Sultan to follow suit on the Jews in Turkey, which will be done; no fear of the Sultan’s refusing an order to butcher anybody. Still more, the Czar will command him in secret to banish the English missionaries from Turkey; the Sultan will request the English government to call them back, and there is little doubt that Lord Salisbury will comply; but they, like the Americans, will refuse to go. Then they will be murdered by secret orders from the Sultan, who will say he is not responsible for it. These massacres will continue for two years more. The victims will cry aloud, the Americans and English will have greater mass-meetings, but the governments of both will do nothing. And Germany, Austria, and Italy will look calmly on; if they act it will be with the Czar, and not against him. Meantime both in Europe and America the war preparations will continue with greater zeal and energy, until the cup is full, until the crisis comes; then the noble blood of the Anglo-Saxon race will begin to boil, and the English and American people at once will be aroused like one man, and the governments will have to yield. The wrathful Jews will contribute Jewish capital for the war expenses; the wrathful Armenians throughout the world will give both money and soldiers to the governments fighting their battles. And a fierce battle will be fought between Russia, Turkey, and France on one side; America, England, the Jews, and the Armenians on the other. The former alliance will be beaten: the Czar’s Greek Church bigotry, the Sultan’s Mohammedan fanaticism, and France’s infidelity together will be crushed; Russia will go to pieces, Turkey will go to pieces, France will go to pieces; Armenia will be free, Judea will be free. The scattered Armenians will return to Armenia, the scattered Jews will return to Judea. Both the Armenians and the Jews will have their separate governments; not kings, not princes, but a clean republican form of government. Russia and Turkey will be opened to the gospel work. Where now hundreds of missionaries are going from England and America to other lands, then thousands of them will go; and Christian America and England will open their hearts and purses together to send as many missionaries as they can to Russia, to Turkey, and to France. They will hasten the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. They will prepare the way for the coming King, who has the power both in heaven and on the earth.
What will become of Germany, Austria, and Italy, who form the Triple Alliance? That alliance will be dissolved. The German Emperor is trying hard to maintain it, but he will fail. France will once in a while threaten Germany with vengeance, but she will never be able to carry it out, and there is no need for it, because the German people during this century will get rid of their Emperor. There will be a great civil war in Germany, between the people and the army. If the German emperor could do it, he would begin to crush the Socialists now. He will order his soldiers to kill their brothers and fathers, but they will not,—they are not as foolish as the Emperor; the only result will be the break-up of the German Union, and the division of Germany into small republican governments. Italy, Austria, and Spain will all have the same fate: civil war, and splitting into small republics. No czars, no emperors, no princes, no lords will remain. Government will be for the people, of the people, by the people. The time has come; this century will purify the whole world. But until it is purified, a great deal of fire will burn, very great battles will be fought, until freedom and peace shall reign. And the Armenian blood, now continually pouring like a river in Armenia, will be the cause and the foundation of the coming freedom of the world. For the present, the world is not free; it is not civilized. It cannot be with such rulers. To be free and happy, the people must be aroused, and get rid of them. The United States must be the example to the older nations; they must embrace Washington’s principles.
It is true that England and America will never go regularly to work to give freedom to Judea and Armenia, nor with that intention. Their immediate motive will be to punish Russia and Turkey for the murder of the missionaries, and after the victory is won, by the help of Jewish and Armenian purses and swords, the Armenians and Jews will be rewarded by giving them their original homes and mother-lands.
This will be laughed at by many, perhaps most, as a romantic and pleasant dream. They will say it can never be accomplished during this century; perhaps in the future, after a century or two, but not now. I am used to this incredulity; my predictions are never believed at the time: but after they come true they are. This century is not like the other centuries; a day in this century is equal to a year of those which have passed away. We may expect from a year of it as much as from a century in the ancient times. This world is a wonderful world now, and will be more wonderful hereafter. The future of the world is bright, and the world will be brighter and happier.
Why do I keep repeating “two years”? Why do I not say one year or three years, or a few years? I have reasons for it: one is the political situation in Europe, and the other is the Bible prophecy in the Book of Revelation.
THE POLITICAL SITUATION IN EUROPE
The Europeans have already made great preparations for battle. Every one of them preaches peace and prepares for war; and none of them have finished their preparations yet,—if they had, they would be in the thick of it by this time. Each of them declares that its preparations will be finished about the end of 1897. Russia is building war-ships, England is building war-ships, France is building war-ships, and all will be finished about the end of 1897. All preparations converge on the end of 1897. When all are ready, they will begin. When newspapers write about an immediate European war, I do not believe it. There will be no European war for two years; but after that there is no escape from it,—they have to fight, and will fight. The war-ships will be ready, the cannon will be ready, the guns will be ready, the ammunition will be ready, the soldiers will be ready.
The cunning Sultan knows all this, and is in a hurry to exterminate the Armenians, so that when they start in earnest with guns to reform Armenia, he can say there is no Armenia or Armenians to reform. But that makes no difference for the European powers: Turkey is doomed, and the Turkish Empire will come to an end forever within this century. There will never be any more Turkish Empire or Mohammedan government; all the Mohammedan powers will be under Christian rule.
The second reason is my belief in the Bible prophecies. The close resemblance of the Jews and Armenians will be observed by the reader: both the chosen people of God. The children of Israel were the chosen people before Christ, and as the Armenians became the first Christian nation after Christ, they became the chosen people after Christ. And these chosen people have suffered more than any other nations on the globe; they have had more martyrs than any other nation, and have been carried into captivity, and finally scattered throughout the world. The Bible lands are Palestine and Armenia, where the first man, Adam, was created, and where Christ was born and was crucified; and so these lands after Christ, becoming the first Christian lands, became the Temple of God.
We have a prophecy in the eleventh chapter of Revelation that the court of the Temple will be given unto the Gentiles, and the Holy City shall they tread under foot forty and two months; “and I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophecy a thousand two hundred and three score days, clothed in sackcloth.” (Rev. xi, 2-3.)
Forty and two months and a thousand two hundred and three score days are just the same thing. Each day in the Bible prophecy is one year. According to this interpretation, which I consider correct, the Holy City will be trampled by the Gentiles one thousand, two hundred and sixty years. Now the question is this, Where is the Holy City, and who are the Gentiles who will trample the Holy City? First, the Holy City is both literally the Holy City before Christ, and spiritually the Holy City after Christ.
Literally, the Holy City is Jerusalem, where the Temple of God was; this is very clear. Spiritually, the Holy City is Christianity; wherever there are Christians, there is the Holy City. But this is very general, and takes the whole world after it is Christian. But before we come to that general Holy City, we find in the third verse of the same chapter the following words: “I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand, two hundred and three score days, clothed in sackcloth.” So from these statements we find that two especial witnesses in that Holy City, clothed in sackcloth, will testify. Who are these two witnesses? My interpretation is that they are the two chosen peoples of God and Christ. And the two chosen peoples are the Jews and the Armenians. The Jews were the chosen people before Christ, and the Armenians became the chosen people after Christ, as King Abgarus, the Armenian king, believed in Christ before Christ was crucified, and afterwards, in the time of Gregory the Illuminator, the whole Armenian nation became a Christian nation, in 310 A.D. Before Palestine was considered a holy country, Armenia was considered a holy land, because the first man was created there, and Noah’s ark rested on Mount Ararat. And as the Armenians became the first Christian nation on the globe, Palestine and Armenia were the holy countries or the Holy City. Although this is so, after all the literal Holy City, Jerusalem, remains a holy city; and she will be after Christ, under the rule of Gentiles one thousand two hundred and sixty years, while the two witnesses will testify there under sackcloth for one thousand two hundred and sixty years.
Now the question is this, How long is it since the city of Jerusalem was captured by the Gentiles, or more correctly by the “beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit” (Rev. ii. 7), which is the Mohammedan power? The Mohammedan power in different places in Revelation is called the Beast, the Dragon, the Whore or Harlot, and the False Prophet, and it is the Gentile kingdom after Christ. And the time which is given to the Mohammedan power to rule, to destroy, and to kill the Jews and the Christians in Jerusalem or in the Bible lands, is only one thousand two hundred and sixty years. Since the city of Jerusalem was captured by the Mohammedans is 1258 years, and when this present year and the next come to an end in 1897, the Mohammedan power will also come to an end, and the city of Jerusalem will be restored to the Jews, and Armenia to the Armenians.
Towards the end of the Mohammedan power, Mohammedans will begin to kill both the Jews and the Armenians for three and a half years (see Rev. xi, 7, 8, 9). Now, for a year and a half the Mohammedans have been killing the Christians,—which the author predicted two or three years ago; and they will kill two years more. “And the sixth Angel poured out his vial upon the Great River Euphrates and the water thereof was dried up.” (See Rev. xvi, 12.) That means that the people on the shores of the Euphrates were killed, namely the Armenians.
I am not writing a commentary on Revelation, but simply bringing in a few passages to enlighten the mind of the reader about the future of Armenia and the battle of Armageddon.
THE BATTLE OF ARMAGEDDON (REVELATION XVI, 13-16)
The battle of Armageddon is the final and the greatest battle. All the nations will take part in it; but the leaders in the battle will be the ones I have said, and the other will be their followers on the one side or the other. And this battle will settle all the questions which are not settled now. The great Eastern question will be settled, the great question between capital and labor will be settled, all the emperors and czars, kings, and princes will come down from their thrones, and permanent international arbitration will be established. The questions which are asked now will never be asked: What do the emperors say? What do the czars say? What do the Sultans say? Men will ask then, What do the people say? What is the wish of the people?
Then the question comes, where is Armageddon? Armageddon is Armenia. Of course this is entirely a new interpretation to European and American scholars; no one has ever been certain where Armageddon is, but it is generally thought to be somewhere near Jerusalem, a little hill called Mount Megiddo. In the time of Judges, “The kings came and fought, then fought the kings of Canaan in Taanach by the waters of Megiddo.” (Judges v, 19.) But as a native of the Bible lands, and as a native minister, I am positive about it. The first question is, What does Armageddon mean? It means the High Lands. Is there any higher land in the Bible lands than Armenia? The main land is from 4,000 to 7,000 feet above the level of the sea, and Mount Ararat is about 18,000 feet high. Another question is, What does Armenia mean? It means precisely the high lands, as Armageddon does. Armenia took her name from King Aram or Armenag; both mean high lands, or the possessors of high lands; and Armenia also means the high lands.
Again, what does Ararat mean, which is just in the center of Armenia proper? It means the holy or high land. Now bring all together, Armageddon, Armenia, Ararat, all mean just the same: high lands. Not only high lands, but holy high lands. Long before Palestine was called a holy land, Armenia had the name of Holy land, and the Armenians were called the Highlanders.
In a word, Armageddon is the combination of three different words, Armenia—Garden—Eden: Armageddon.
So the final battle will be fought in Armenia. The nation with the greatest part will have the greatest future. As man fell from grace in Armenia, man will be restored to peace and holiness in Armenia. And before that peace, holiness, and restoration come, the greatest battle will be fought in Armenia. After the fall of man, disgrace and curse went forth from Armenia; so prosperity and blessings will come forth from Armenia. As the first battle in the world was fought in Armenia, between Cain and Abel, and the other battles followed, so the last battle will be fought in Armenia, and the universal peace will come out of it. As the first martyrdom in the world was in Armenia, so the last and greatest martyrdom will be in Armenia. And from the blood of Armenian martyrs everlasting happiness will follow to all nations. And the kingdom of Christ will be established throughout the world.