Armageddon - that is the word conjures up vivid and
frightening images which mostly pertain to the complete and otter destruction
of the world as we know it. This word
gained worldwide exposure some years ago as the title to a popular movie in
which Bruce Willis was charged by NASA to save the earth. The story line involved a massive meteor
plunging toward earth that had a mass of one half the size of the State of Texas and which was
characterized as a “planet killer.” Its impending collision with our world
would literally destroy the earth and every living thing that inhabits it. However, Hollywood once again saved our planet. Bruce Willis detonated a nuclear bomb deep in
the meteor’s core after flying and landing in a space shuttle on the meteor’s
surface and drilling a hole approximately 800 feet deep below the surface. All of this was accomplished within a period
of less than 20 days from the date that Bruce was brought back to America from an
oil-drilling venture on the other side of the world along with his crew. Don’t get me wrong – I’m a big Bruce Willis
fan and I enjoyed the movie immensely; however, it wasn’t Armageddon.
Alternatively, we see the word used rather loosely in
characterizing death and destruction in the world that makes the pages of our
newspapers. Whether it be killer tsunamis, violent tornados, earthquakes, erupting
volcanoes or genocide, the word “Armageddon” is sure to make its
appearance. However, there is also
another use of the word that is much more real and closer to the truth and that
use of the word is one that highlights the final climactic battle between good
There is only one time in the entire Bible that the word
“Armageddon” appears. In the 16th
Chapter of the Book of Revelation, just before the angel of the Lord pours out
the seventh bowl judgment, we see the word “Armageddon.”
The word “Armageddon” refers to a specific geographic
location and the reference is made at the end of the sixth bowl judgment and
just before the seventh bowls judgment.
** New International
King James Version
The sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates,
and its water was dried up to prepare the way for the kings from the East. 13
Then I saw three evil spirits that looked like frogs; they came out of the
mouth of the dragon, out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of
the false prophet. 14 They are spirits of demons performing miraculous signs,
and they go out to the kings of the whole world, to gather them for the
battle on the great day of God Almighty. 15 "Behold, I come like a
thief! Blessed is he who stays awake and keeps his clothes with him, so that
he may not go naked and be shamefully exposed."
Then they gathered the kings together to the place that in Hebrew is called
And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the
way of the kings of the east might be prepared. 13 And I saw three unclean spirits
like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the
beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. 14 For they are the spirits
of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and
of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God
Almighty. 15 Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his
garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his
And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue
Let’s set the time frame for these verses. We are deep in the Tribulation Period which
many believe will take place after Christians are supernaturally removed from
earth (an event known as the “Rapture”) and after the antichrist has seized
power and literally rules the earth.
However, it should also be noted that these verses foretell events that
are to take place before the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.
The great river Euphrates
is dried up and three demons are released with one purpose – to gather together
all of the kings of this world for one last battle. This battle is to take place in a location
called “Armageddon.” Hence, the word
while used to depict an event, it is actually a place, a physical location if
Central to the word “Armageddon” is “Megiddo”, a place not mentioned in the New
Testament but certainly known in the Old Testament. Historically, the Plain of Megiddo was a site
of battles waged and notably was the place were King Josiah of Judah was killed
by the Pharaoh Neco (See 2 Kings 23:29).
According to Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary, scholars
disagree about the exact location of Megiddo,
but the most likely possibility is the valley between Mount Carmel and the city
This valley (known as the Valley of Jezreel and sometimes
referred to as the Plain of Esdraelon) was the
crossroads of two ancient trade routes and thus was a strategic military site
which was the scene of many ancient battles.
I have heard it described in a similar fashion, i.e. a valuable
strategic location and a natural battlefield.
This is the place where Jesus will confront His enemies before finally
establishing His kingdom upon the earth.
With the gathering of
the armies of earth, the angel of the Lord pours out the seventh bowl judgment
and declares, “It is done!” Immediately
following this declaration, there is destruction poured out against God’s
enemies that is literally unimaginable.
** New International
King James Version
The seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air, and out of the temple came a loud voice from the throne, saying, "It is
done!" 18 Then there came flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of
thunder and a severe earthquake. No earthquake like it has ever occurred
since man has been on earth, so tremendous was the quake. 19 The great city
split into three parts, and the cities of the nations collapsed. God
the Great and gave her the cup filled with the wine of the fury of his wrath.
20 Every island fled away and the mountains could not be found. 21 From the
sky huge hailstones of about a hundred pounds each fell upon men. And they
cursed God on account of the plague of hail, because the plague was so
And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a
great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done.
18 And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings;
and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the
earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great. 19 And the great city was
divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in
remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the
fierceness of his wrath.
And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found. 21 And there
fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, every stone about the weight of a
talent: and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail; for the
plague thereof was exceeding great.
Read those verses again.
After the gathering of God’s enemies and the pouring out of the seventh
bowl judgment, a great earthquake sweeps the entire planet, i.e. the earth
shakes and shudders in the hand of an Almighty God, and the cities
collapse. Jerusalem is split into three parts. Every island is laid to waste and is swept
away. Mountain ranges are leveled and
after all of that happens, one hundred pound hailstones fall from the sky. I have heard of golf ball sized hail,
baseball sized hail and even softball sized hail that can strip leaves and
limbs off of trees. However, I have
never heard of hail this large. In this
past year my city was struck by hail that smashed car windows, damaged roofs
and destroyed crops on a massive scale in less than 15 minutes of time but this
was hail that was the size of a golf ball and slightly larger. It is beyond my comprehension to think of
hail falling from the sky that literally destroys or kills everything it
contacts. Despite this destruction, the
worst is still to come.
** New International
King James Version
I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider
is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and makes war. 12 His eyes are like blazing fire, and on
his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. 13 He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood,
and his name is the Word of God. 14 The armies of heaven were following him,
riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. 15 Out of
his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. "He
will rule them with an iron scepter." He treads the winepress of the
fury of the wrath of God Almighty. 16 On his robe and on his thigh he has
this name written:
KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF
And I saw an angel standing in the sun, who cried in a loud voice to all the
birds flying in midair, "Come, gather together for the great supper of
God, 18 so that you may eat the flesh of kings, generals, and mighty men, of
horses and their riders, and the flesh of all people, free and slave, small
and great." 19 Then I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their
armies gathered together to make war against the rider on the horse and his
army. 20 But the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who had
performed the miraculous signs on his behalf. With these signs he had deluded
those who had received the mark of the beast and worshiped his image. The two
of them were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulfur. 21 The rest of them were killed with the
sword that came out of the mouth of the rider on the horse, and all the birds
gorged themselves on their flesh.
And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him
was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make
war. 12 His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns;
and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he
himself. 13 And he was clothed with a vesture dipped
in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. 14 And the armies which
were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white
and clean. 15 And out of his mouth goeth a sharp
sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with
a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the
fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. 16 And he hath on his vesture and on
his thigh a name written,
OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.
And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice,
saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather
yourselves together unto the supper of the great God; 18 That ye may eat the
flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and
the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men,
both free and bond, both small and great. 19 And I saw the beast, and the
kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against
him that sat on the horse, and against his army. 20 And the beast was taken,
and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which
he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that
worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning
And the remnant were slain with the sword of him
that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the
fowls were filled with their flesh.
Most of the images portraying the personage of Jesus Christ
are pictures that provide man’s understanding of the gentle, caring and loving
nature of the Son of God. It is not
unusual to see a picture of a bearded young male of European descent talking to
children or holding a lamb in his arms; very seldom do we see the image
revealed in these verses.
When Jesus entered Jerusalem
the week before His crucifixion, He was riding a donkey; that was not
coincidence. This was an image of peace
and reconciliation. It is directly
contra to the image to of Revelation 19:11-21.
The Jesus Christ that arrives in Revelation 19 is not coming
to seek peace or reconciliation; He is coming to make war. This is the final battle between good and
evil that most people think of when the word “Armageddon” is used in this
context. This battle has one purpose and
one purpose only – that purpose is to destroy all opposition to the King of
Kings and Lord of Lords. We see the
words “justice”, “fury” and “wrath.”
Jesus is coming to make war and to destroy. He is accompanied by the armies of heaven but
not because He needs them; the armies of heaven are there simply to witness the
final act in this drama that has consumed the spiritual realm before time
began. Understand this – this is only a
war because it is the final confrontation.
It is not a war because the end is ever in doubt. Jesus Christ, seated as a warrior on a white
horse, destroys with the word of His mouth leaving carnage and bloodshed in His
wake sufficient to feed the birds of earth.
Nothing and no one will stand in His way. That includes the wily serpent of old whose
pride and arrogance seal his fate.
** New International
King James Version
And I saw an angel coming down out of heaven, having the key to the Abyss and
holding in his hand a great chain. 2 He seized the dragon, that ancient
serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him
for a thousand years. 3 He threw him into the Abyss, and locked and sealed it
over him, to keep him from deceiving the nations anymore until the thousand
years were ended. After that, he must be set free for a short time.
And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless
pit and a great chain in his hand. 2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old
serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, 3 And
cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him,
that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be
fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.
Unfortunately for those who turned their backs upon God’s
precious gift of salvation, this final battle also serves to bring them to
their collective end also. While Satan
is doomed, so are those who have refused to bow before God. Armageddon, a place and an event, is also a
line; it is a line of demarcation in eternity for those who have eagerly
anticipated the return of their Savior and their God and for those who have
despised Him, thinking themselves to be unaccountable
for their actions and decisions.
However, this event is not truly the end; it is the
beginning. While it comprises the end of
man’s time to heed the call of God that has echoed through the ages, it marks
the beginning of eternity so to speak.
It is the beginning of complete joy, peace and contentment for those who
have longed to receive their Savior; it is also the beginning of eternal pain,
torment and separation for those who rejected God and His love made manifest
through the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus Christ, on the cross at Calvary.
** New International
King James Version
He said to me: "It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning
and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the
spring of the water of life. 7 He who overcomes will inherit all this, and I
will be his God and he will be my son. 8 But the cowardly, the unbelieving,
the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts,
the idolaters and all liars-their place will be in the fiery lake of burning
sulfur. This is the second death."
And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the
end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of
life freely. 7 He that overcometh shall inherit all
things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. 8 But the fearful, and
unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and
sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake
which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the
You may ask yourself if you are a Christian, “Why should I
be concerned? I asked Jesus into my life
to be my Lord and Savior. I accepted
God’s gift of salvation and I know where I will be when I breathe my
last.” Can you say the same for family,
friends or colleagues? Do you know where
they will spend eternity? Do you ever
discuss these matters or are you too self-conscious about it? Do you fear rejection or ridicule? What excuse do you have for not sharing the
greatest gift ever given to mankind?
The day is coming, and perhaps very soon, when Jesus will call
His church to come home.
** New International
King James Version
"Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord
will come. 43 But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at
what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would
not have let his house be broken into. 44 So you also must be ready, because
the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.
Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. 43 But know this, that if the goodman of the
house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched,
and would not have suffered his house to be broken up. 44 Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the
Son of man cometh.
When that happens, your opportunity to speak with that loved
one, friend or acquaintance will be gone. Will you then question why you didn’t speak
or worse, will Jesus ask you why you didn’t?
As you read tomorrow’s newspaper, reflect on God’s Holy
Word. Is it coincidence that the Middle
East conflict with Afghanistan,
then Iraq and now
threatens to grow out of control? Is it
coincidence that the United
States is increasing its military presence
in the region with additional troop deployment and another carrier group? Is it coincidence that our nation is torn in
this fight against terrorism despite the fact that 9/11 took more lives than Pearl Harbor and damaged our economy? Is it coincidence that Iran thumbs its
nose at the world (figuratively speaking) while developing nuclear capabilities? Is it coincidence that Iran’s president announces his intention to
obliterate Israel? Is it coincidence that a narrow strip of land
lying on the east coast of the Mediterranean Sea
is holds the world’s attention despite its lack of natural resources? What natural disasters occurred
yesterday? Was it a tornado, an
earthquake, a flood or a hurricane? The
list could continue on but one thought comes to mind: Are we reading fulfillment to prophecy each
day in our local newspapers?
Is this the season that the Bible teaches us to
recognize? If it is and if our time left
on this earth is short, do you know when God will rapture or snatch away His
children? Of course you don’t;
therefore, let us live like there is no tomorrow because there may not be. Live with the anticipation that each day may
be your last upon this earth because it very well may be. There are no guarantees. Therefore, take the time to talk to a friend,
a loved one or an acquaintance about the most important thing in your life –
the love of your Savior. You’ll be glad
you did – I promise.
** A modern language quote is provided for readability together
with the accompanying KJV version which is believed by many to be a more
accurate representation of the original scripture.