1. The word “Armageddon”
This word is found only in Rev 16:16 and means Mountain of Megiddo.
2. Time for judgement
Another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven. He also had a sharp sickle. Another angel came out from the altar, he who has power over fire, and he called with a great voice to him who had the sharp sickle, saying, “Send your sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth, for the earth’s grapes are fully ripe!” The angel thrust his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vintage of the earth, and threw it into the great wine press of the wrath of God. The wine press was trodden outside of the city, and blood came out of the wine press, even to the bridles of the horses, as far as one thousand six hundred stadia. (Rev 14:17-20).
Seven years had passed since satan and his agents had taken control of the earth. Seven is the number for completeness. It was now precisely the correct time for them to be judged and the time was determined by God, not by satan. Iniquity had run its full course. He even shortened the days of their rule on account of His elect. Had He not done so, no flesh would have been saved, so severe was the anti-Christ’s murderous yoke of oppression upon them (Matt 24:22).
3. The place of judgement
God also orchestrated the bringing together of the ripe grapes to the place of His choice where His winepress awaited them. There He would tread them to pulp.
Megiddo, spoken of above, was a town that overlooked a beautiful valley known as Esdraelon. This was where God decided the armies were to gather to meet Him, the returning King.
Some writers point out that Armageddon will be several battles fought over a vast area of Palestine. The final blow will be felled at the Mount of Olives east of Jerusalem.
4. Anti-Christ’s reason for this battle
The most plausible reason for his launching of such an all-out war, is to get rid of Israel once and for all for to satan, Israel symbolizes Christ Who is his real Opponent. This day of expected final victory will however turn into the great day of the Lord, the day of God’s victory (Rev 16:14).
5. The run and outcome of the battle
- The Euphrates river will dry up to open the way for the eastern armies (Rev 16:12).
- Initially the armies under satan’s control will gain the upper hand. Jerusalem will fall and be plundered and half of the population carried away (Ze 14:1,2).
- Then the Lord Jesus (called “The Word of God) will arrive on the scene. He will ride a white horse, wear many crowns, be clothed in a cloak sprinkled with blood. His eyes will be like flames of fire and a sharp sword will proceed from His mouth (Rev 19:11-14).
- All His saints and hosts of angels will follow Him (Matt 25:31; Ze 14:5; Rev 19:14).
- He will Stand on the Mount of Olives. The mountain will be rent by an earthquake from east to west and the people of Israel will flee into the valley for protection (Ze 14:14, 15).
- The sword that will slay the vast multitude of soldiers will be the words that will proceed from His mouth. On the first day of creation, He said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. On the sea of Galilee, He commanded the waves “Be still”, and they were still. To the multitudes of soldiers at Armageddon He will probably say “Be dead,” and they will be dead.
- Within a few moments it will be all over and the vultures summoned beforehand and circling above will be called down to clean up the dishes (Rev 19:17,18).
- Then the Beast and the False Prophet that had terrorized the whole earth will be unceremoniously lifted up and cast like two little stones, not into a dam of water, but into a lake of fire (Rev 19:20).
- Satan will be bound for 1000 years by casting him into the bottomless pit and sealing it above him (Rev 20:1-3).
- What will happen to the people of Israel that were delivered by the intervention of the Lord Jesus? Either on that day, or at a later date, there will be, a massive turning to the Lord Jesus when 1/3 of the nation will accept Him as their Messiah:
I will pour on David’s house, and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplication; and they will look to me whom they have pierced; and they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for his only son, and will grieve bitterly for him, as one grieves for his firstborn. (Ze 12:10).
It shall happen that in all the land,” says Yahweh, “two parts in it will be cut off and die; but the third will be left in it. I will bring the third part into the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will test them like gold is tested. They will call on my name, and I will hear them. I will say, ‘It is my people;’ and they will say, ‘Yahweh is my God.’” (Ze 13:8,9).
B. THE SECOND COMING OF CHRIST
1. Place of His coming
He will return to the same place from which He left, namely the Mount of Olives, right at and to the east of Jerusalem (Zac 14:4).
2. Who will accompany Him?
All the angels as well as countless thousands of His holy ones (Matt 25:31; 2The 1:7; Jude 1:14).
3. Purposes of His coming
- We saw that He will come to end the rule of satan.
- He will also come to restore Israel spiritually after their rejection of Him when He first came (Ze 12:10; Ze 13:8,9 supra).
- He will come to judge the then living (Rev 19:21).
- To bind satan for 100 years by casting him into the bottomless pit (Rev 20:1-3).
- Lastly, and perhaps primarily, to take up His position as King and begin His reigning of 1000 years over the earth (Rev 19:16).
- Those that were martyred or had passed away without having accepted the mark of the Beast during the tribulation, will be resurrected and reign with Christ during the Millennium together with the saints that had come with Him (Rev 20;4,5).