Revelation 16:16: “… they assembled them at the place that in Hebrew is called Armageddon.”
Even in the secular world, Christian terms are surprisingly popular. For example, hashtag words like #armageddon are in vogue with all the upheaval in the Middle East. Few comprehend its true nature or implication other than an end to the world. The word of God, however, is particular about its interpretation. It’s actually more complex and convoluted than most imagine, which is the focus of this post.
Armageddon, which means “Mount of Megiddo,” is some 60 miles north of Jerusalem. Alexander the Great proclaimed it the most extraordinary battlefield in existence. The Bible announces this will be the site of the last great battle of mankind, concurrent with the second coming of Christ. It will result in the extermination of the Antichrist’s armies and, at the same time, a miraculous deliverance just before the advent of the Kingdom.
But first, let’s set the stage.
As discussed previously, the sequence of prophetic events portends a Rapture of the Church, preceded or followed by the Battle of Gog and Magog, then with God’s judging wrath expressed in a 7-year tribulation period during the reign of “the Antichrist.” The endpoint of this judgment is where the Battle of Armageddon commences. This then is followed by the 1,000-year Millennium and, finally, the unveiling of the final Kingdom of New Heaven, New Earth, and the Lake of Fire. That’s a lot packed into a short paragraph, and you’re welcome to follow up on some of the other posts concerning this prophetic history.
Phase 1 – The Antichrist Gathers Allies for the War
The Battle of Armageddon is aimed at the final destruction of Israel. Having all witnessed the pervasive hatred of Jews worldwide, it is apparently nothing compared to the vitriol at the Battle of Armageddon. The entire world is complicit. Although the United States is not expressly named in the Bible, given the prevalence of antisemitism among its young people, it is conceivable that it will either be part of the Antichrist’s military or, because of debilitating wokeness, too weak to matter.
The unholy trinity commands demons to gather allies for the great battle. As Revelation 16:13-16 relates, “And I saw, coming out of the mouth of the dragon [Satan] and out of the mouth of the beast [Antichrist], and out of the mouth of the false prophet three unclean spirits like frogs. For they are demonic spirits, performing signs, who go abroad to the kings of the whole world, to assemble them for battle on the great day of God the Almighty…And they assembled them at the place that in Hebrew is called Armageddon.”
The goal? Once and for all, the extermination of the Jews.
Phase 2 – Commercial Babylon is Destroyed
Revelation 17-18 reveals that the Antichrist, who had set up headquarters in Jerusalem during the first half of the Tribulation, will, at some point in the second half of the Tribulation, shift his base of operation to Babylon, or present-day Iraq because of its commercial value; ostensively, its oil-rich natural resources. Ultimately, an army from the north will descend upon Babylon and destroy it.
Revelation 18:21 describes this destruction, “Then a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone and threw it into the sea saying, ‘So will Babylon the great city be thrown down with violence, and will be found no more.’” Isaiah 13:19 confirms this destruction, stating Babylon “will be like Sodom and Gomorrah when God overthrew them.’”
Jeremiah 50:9, 41-41 further describes this destruction, “Behold, a people comes from the north…and many kings…They lay hold of bow and spear; they are cruel and have no mercy. The sound of them is like the roaring of the sea…” In Jeremiah 50:43, the Bible records that the Antichrist is away at the time and informed by messenger, “The king of Babylon hear the report of them, and his hands fell helpless…”
Revelation 18:2-3 records the world’s mourning over Babylon’s destruction, “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great! She has become a dwelling place for demons…For all nations have drunk the wine of the passion of her sexual immorality, the kings of the earth have committed immorality with her, and the merchants of the earth have grown rich from the power of her luxurious living.”
Phase 3 – Jerusalem is Attacked and Ravaged
Even in light of Babylon’s obliteration, the Antichrist’s hatred of Jews is so intense that instead of retaliation, he turns to the destruction of Jerusalem. In Zechariah 12:1-3 we read, “Thus declares the Lord… ‘Behold, I am about to make Jerusalem a cup of staggering to all the surrounding peoples…I will make Jerusalem a heavy stone for all the peoples…And all the nations of the earth will gather against it.’”
Zechariah 14:2 further comments, “I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city shall be taken, and the houses plundered and the women raped. Half of the city shall go out into exile, but the rest of the people shall not be cut off from the city.”
Outgunned and outmanned, Jerusalem will undoubtedly fall from this overwhelming onslaught.
Phase 4 – The Antichrist Moves South Against the Remnant
Christ in Matthew 24:15-31 had warned, “So when you see the abomination of desolation spoken of the by the prophet Daniel…then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains…And He will send out His angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.” This “abomination of desolation” Christ was referring to was the desecration of the Temple by the Antichrist at the midpoint of the Tribulation.
Revelation 12 describes this exodus in verse 6, claiming, “and the woman [the Jews] fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God in which she is to be nourished for 1,260 days [or 3 1/2 years].”
Phase 5 – In Dispair, Israel’s Blindness is Removed
In Romans 11:25, Paul states, “I want you to understand this mystery, brothers: a partial hardening has come upon Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.” What Paul is referring to is that because Israel had rejected Christ, they were temporarily blinded, and God initiated the Church age with non-Jews until the timing was right to return to the Jews.
It is at this point that the Jews who had escaped the advancing armies against Israel finally realize that they had rejected and killed their own Messiah. Hosea 6:1-3 records this future awakening, “Come, let us return to the Lord; for He has torn us, that He may heal us; He has struck us down, and He will bind us up. After two days [a short time] He will revive us…He will come to us…as the spring rains that water the earth.”
Amid the devastation of Armageddon, the Jews finally have a spiritual awakening. In Zechariah 13:7, we learn, “In the whole land, declares the Lord, two-thirds shall be cut off and perish, and one-third shall be left alive.” One-third, however, will survive, turn to the Lord, and be saved according to Zechariah 13:9, “And I will put this third into the fire, and refine them as one refines silver, and test them as gold is tested. They will call upon my name, and I will answer them. I will say, ‘They are my people,’ and they will say, ‘The Lord is my God.’”
Phase 6 – Jesus Returns in Glory
It should be noted that with Jerusalem in the throws of despair and destruction, the whole world is also in disarray. However, not unlike Matthew 24:38, which states, “For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark” humanity continues to deny Christ and even shows their disdain as Revelation 16:10 records, “they gnawed their tongues for pain, And blasphemed the God of Heaven because of their pains and their sores, and repented not of their deeds.”
But as Acts 1:11 promises, “…This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw Him go into heaven.”
Phase 7 – The Final Battle
Revelation 19:11-16 records this return event, “Then I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse! The one [Jesus] sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness, He judges and makes war…He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which He is called is The Word of God. And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following Him on white horses. From His mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the wine press of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. On His robe and His thigh He has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords.”
2 Thessalonians 2:8 confirms the defeat of Satan and the Antichrist when it states of the Antichrist, “whom the Lord Jesus will kill with the breath of His mouth and bring to nothing by the appearance of His coming.” Revelation 14:19-20 further documents this destruction, referring to rejecting humanity, stating, “So the angel swung his sickle across the earth and gathered the grape harvest of the earth and threw it into the great winepress of the wrath of God. And the winepress was trodden outside the city, and blood flowed from the winepress, as high as a horse’s bridle, for 1,600 stadia [approximately 200 miles].”
Phase 8 – Christ’s Ascends to the Mount of Olives
In the final phase of the Armageddon campaign, Jesus victoriously ascends to the Mount of Olives as we read in Zechariah 14:3-4, “…On that day His feet shall stand on the Mount of Olives that lies before Jerusalem on the east, and the Mount of Olives shall be split in two from east to west by a very wide valley, so that half of the Mount shall move northward, and the other half southward.”
Thus, this will bring an end to the great battle of Armageddon and usher in the thousand-year millennium period and, ultimately, God’s final Kingdom.
As with all end-time narratives in the Bible, there will be some terrified and some comforted. Those afraid will be so because of their continued rejection of Christ as Lord of the universe. In contrast, those comforted will be those who have accepted Christ as their Lord and Savior.
Time still remains to make the right decision.
By the way, this is a true story…