A buddy of mine asked where we find the Battle of Armageddon in the Bible.
I knew his question was centered on the prophecies we see in Ezekiel 38,39, and though much of that battle will take place in Israel, there has rarely been a Biblical battle that is not fought in the Meggido valley.
The layman’s definition comes across like this, every Biblical battle we are familiar with happens/ed in the Meggido valley or, as some put it, the Plain of Jezreel. Other names we find are Har- Megiddo, Har-Magedon, Armageddon, and Harmagedon.
Josiah, the King of Judah, went out to fight the king of Egypt in the valley of Megiddo. (2 Kings 23:29)
Joshua, the second in command to Moses, made his home here and raised his sons, who were just as tough as he was, in the Jezreel valley.
Elijah took on the prophets of Baal, the servants of Jezebel, on Mt Carmel, the Southernmost boundary of the Megiddo valley.
“Jezreel, or Esdraelon, was a city of Issachar, afterwards celebrated as the residence of the kings of Israel, delightfully situated in the extensive and fertile plain of the same name, which extends from Scythopolis or Bethshan on the east to mount Carmel on the west.” (This puts the upper range just North of the Sea of Galilee and South toward Mt. Carmel. This mountain should have a familiar ring as this is where Elijah confronted the false prophets of Jezebel.)
The Ultimate Cross-Reference Treasury (Emphasis mine.)
The book of Ezekiel gives two more identifying names. “And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will give unto Gog a place there of graves in Israel, the valley of the passengers on the east of the sea: and it shall stop the noses of the passengers: and there shall they bury Gog and all his multitude: and they shall call it The valley of Hamongog.” (Ezekiel 39:11 KJV)
Ezekiel 38 tells us that this is also the area known as the location of the mountains of Israel.
“A long time from now, you will be called into action. In the distant future you will swoop down on the land of Israel, which will be enjoying peace after recovering from war and after its people have returned from many lands to the mountains of Israel.” (Ezekiel 38:8 NLT)
One of the prime examples associated with the battle of Armageddon is found in Revelation 16.
“The sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river, the Euphrates; and its water was dried up, so that the way would be prepared for the kings from the east. And I saw coming out of the mouth of the dragon and out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet, three unclean spirits like frogs; for they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the whole world, to gather them together for the war of the great day of God, the Almighty. (“Behold, I am coming like a thief. Blessed is the one who stays awake and keeps his clothes so that he will not walk about naked and men will not see his shame.”) And they gathered them together to the place which in Hebrew is called Har-Magedon.”
(Revelation 16:12-16 NASB)
When you get to the end of the paragraph, there is a reference to “they” to whom does this refer?
The passage tells us that the spirits of demons, which look like frogs, go out for one purpose, to cause the kings of the whole world to gather together for the war of the great day of God. These frog-like demons almost sound like they could take the form of humans as they begin performing signs. All the while, the Euphrates is drying up so that the kings from the East can come down and join in an attack on Israel.
Now, you have to ask, does the great day of God refer to the time that Jesus will come back and retrieve His church, or is it something else, like the entirety of the seven years of God’s wrath?
It references the time of wrath, which begins mere seconds after the catching away of the church.
So the kings of the earth, is it then exclusive to Ezekiel 38, or can it apply to something else, as I see two more times that fall under the category of warfare?
I think this description of kings applies exclusively to Ezekiel 38. While the destruction will not be complete in which they can never show their faces again, it will be severe.
“And the word of the LORD came to me saying, “Son of man, set your face toward Gog of the land of Magog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal, and prophesy against him and say, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD, “Behold, I am against you, O Gog, prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal. “I will turn you about and put hooks into your jaws, and I will bring you out, and all your army, horses and horsemen, all of them splendidly attired, a great company with buckler and shield, all of them wielding swords; Persia, Ethiopia and Put with them, all of them with shield and helmet; Gomer with all its troops; Beth-togarmah from the remote parts of the north with all its troops–many peoples with you.”
(Ezekiel 38:1-6 NASB)
The second major deadly event occurs when the false prophet steps up to bat. Islamic prophecies believe this man, a descendant of Aaron, is the enforcer of Sharia. What does that mean to the Jew – who will be the biggest recipient of this violence? Again, look at Matthew 24, as this speaks specifically to this moment in time when the false prophet shifts his stance, pledges his allegiance to Allah; sets up the image of the beast, which speaks (This may be animatronics, much like a Disney attraction, and made functional through artificial intelligence; or, it could be downright demonic.)
“Therefore, when you see the ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), then those who are in Judea must flee to the mountains. “Whoever is on the housetop must not go down to get the things out that are in his house. “Whoever is in the field must not turn back to get his cloak. “But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! “But pray that your flight will not be in the winter, or on a Sabbath. “For then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will. “Unless those days had been cut short, no life would have been saved; but for the sake of the elect, those days will be cut short.”
(Matthew 24:15-22 NASB)
The problem with identifying this period as a battle of Armageddon loses steam because, though there has to be a large deadly militant force backing the false prophet, none of those fighters are identified with Gog, as we see in Ezekiel 38.
Another problematic issue in associating this “warfare” with Armageddon comes from the vagueness of the antichrist who gives power to the false prophet. If the false prophet is the high priest of the newly built temple in Jerusalem and he flips teams, denies God, follows the Mahdi, and forces “everyone” to worship the beast and take his mark, the impact will be massive – for the Jewish community. Still, it will also be deadly for anyone who has chosen to follow Christ during this time. If the antichrist turned out to be someone like the former American President, Barack Obama, it would feel like a massive betrayal, as he has been acting like he is their best friend for many years. The truth is, Obama is an avid student of Saul Alinsky, and in his book Rules For Radicals, is a man who feels like he could be suspiciously close to Marxism or Socialism; and an admitted follower of Islam. We, as a church body, like much of America and our government that seems naive, seem to think that we are immune from the violence demanded by Islam and refuse to consider that Islam is and will continue to become a global threat. The clues have been before us for a long time now.
After this second onslaught, where Matthew’s account tells us that this period will be extremely deadly, realizing that this is the second part of the seven years of God’s wrath. As this ends, there is no doubt that this time will be filled with violence against others; several billion people will be killed intentionally, and there will be another massive battle.
“Then I heard something like the voice of a great multitude and like the sound of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, saying, “Hallelujah! For the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns. “Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready.”
(Revelation 19:6-7 NASB)
Do I think this will be audible and the world will hear it? Absolutely. Not only do I think they will hear it, but they will also see Jesus coming back to earth, riding on the white horse and covered in blood.
“And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and He who sat on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and wages war. His eyes are a flame of fire, and on His head are many diadems; and He has a name written on Him which no one knows except Himself. He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God.”
(Revelation 19:11-13 NASB)
What an incredible sight, except for those who have chosen to fight against Him. If there ever was a battle of Armageddon, this would be it. When we looked at Revelation 16 a short time ago, we saw frog-like demons gathering the kings of the earth. No doubt there will be kings at this battle that Ezekiel describes, but there are ten nations at best. Here, the impact is global, and every country that thinks God is nothing compared to their gods will be sadly mistaken, for everyone who comes to fight will cease to breathe that day.
Alright, there is one last battle, and it too is fought, to some degree, in the Jezreel valley.
“Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding the key of the abyss and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold of the dragon, the serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; and he threw him into the abyss, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he would not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were completed; after these things he must be released for a short time.”
(Revelation 20:1-3 NASB)
At some point, the thousand years will have come and gone.
“When the thousand years are completed, Satan will be released from his prison and will come out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together for the war; the number of them is like the sand of the seashore.”
(Revelation 20:7-8 NASB)
Satan is released to, in a sense, thin the herd. All these people, and there will be many, will have walked around with their free wills intact. Those whose names were NOT written in the book of life will be deceived. It is just that simple.
And they came up on the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city, and fire came down from heaven and devoured them. And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever. (Revelation 20:9-10 NASB)
No fanfare, trumpets, or weapons of warfare as God Himself burns them up. Once again, the reality is that they quit breathing. Why do I keep saying that? Because we need to adjust our idea of death. Since the spirit of a human is in the image of God, then the soul lives on forever. Yes, those who choose to follow Satan to his demise will live eternally in the torment meant for him. You were meant to live in peace and love with the Father; I know that sounded like hippie talk, but it’s true.
The only thing that associates this with Armageddon is the usage of this terminology, “ they came up on the broad plain of the earth.”
I wrote this piece because there are expected events and questions, and we, for the most part, do not know the answers. Perhaps you have heard all this, and it sounded familiar; what happened? I can tell you what happened; we allowed confusion and confused people to speak into our lives instead of leaning hard upon God’s Word. Don’t allow confusion like that into your life. The Holy Spirit of God is still here, no matter if the church is gone or not, and He will lead and guide you into truth.
Ask Jesus into your life, and the Holy Spirit will come beside Him. Ask the Holy Spirit to fill you with the fire of God, boldness, and strength, and He will do it. If the rapture has come, there is no time to fool around. One way or the other, they will kill you, but until that happens, live like the Prophet Elijah; he called fire down from heaven. The prophet Samuel was also feared, but I will leave you to pursue that. Just know that if you live by the sword, you will die by the sword. So put your faith in Jesus and choose to command the angels to move on your behalf. God’s speed and mercy. We will meet again.