Dr. Willis Newman, Esmeralda Newman, bible-teaching-about.com
The Bible teaching about the Battle of Armageddon is one of tragedy, evil, destruction – but of the ultimate victory of good over evil. It is pictured in the Bible as the final world war which will play out on the earth in the plains of Esdraelon near the city of Megiddo in central Israel (Revelation 16:16). Obviously, there are heavenly elements as well.
I don’t know how much background you have in Bible prophecy, so I will keep to the basic Scriptural evidence. This division of theology covers a very broad spectrum, and can include much fanciful speculative. I even get carried away sometimes! Let me take you to view the Battle of Armageddon.
On one side there is the evil cast comprised of Satan who is depicted as a dragon (Revelation 12:3, 9). Second, we see the Antichrist who is pictured as the beast (Revelation 13:1-10). Third, there is the False Prophet (cf. Revelation 13:11-17). There are demonic forces, and also earthly armies.
On the other side is Jesus Christ, the people of God, and heavenly angels. The future Battle of Armageddon will be the battle to end all battles.
The Stage Setting
At the present time, God is restraining the forces of evil in this world. However, in the future God will remove the restrains and, “the man of lawlessness is (will be) revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God” (2 Thessalonians 2:3, 4; cf. vv. 1-12).
The Antichrist will become a world dictator with absolute rule and power. The onslaught of evil will be so devastating that if Christ does not intervene, the world will be destroyed (Matthew 24:15-22).
The opposition to God will reach frenzied proportions. Judaism and Christianity have always been despised, but then the goal of Antichrist will be to forever stomp God out of existence along with His people. Remember, Antichrist is a man energized by Satan. He is setting into action the war strategy for the Battle of Armageddon.
He enforces his rule by something called the “mark of the beast” which will be required by all (Revelation 13:16-18). If anyone does not have this ID, they will not be able to buy or sell, which means a death sentence for them.
Regarding the “mark”, that is something only people in the Great Tribulation will understand. We are not in the Tribulation now; therefore, no one living today can determine what the mark will be, what it will mean, or what the number 666 actually means.
The Lead Up to Battle
The Bible teaching about the Battle of Armageddon reveals that the times will be so desperate on earth that humanity will turn to anyone to deliver them – except God. At first the united world armies are reluctant to take on the forces of God led by the Lamb of God, which is Jesus (Revelation 6:15-17).
Consequently, Satan sends out, “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…And they gathered them together to the place which in Hebrew is called Har-Magedon” (Revelation 16:14, 16).
The miracles of Antichrist and his henchmen are enough to convince the world leaders that Antichrist has the wits and power to defeat God. They are under tremendous pressure. On the one hand the economic, military, social, physical, and political world is in chaos.
On the other hand, they refuse to turn to God. Thirdly, this charismatic, intellectual, crafty, and powerful figure cons them into believing he can defeat God with their help. Times are terrible, and they must act quickly. However, they are led into a horrifying ambush – the huge trap called the Battle of Armageddon.
The Great Battle
This horrific Battle of Armageddon is described in Revelation 19:11-20:3 and Ezekiel 38:17-39:29. It is graphic, brutal, and ends with utter bloody destruction of the forces of evil. The evil ones will assemble in battle formation, tensely waiting to engage their enemy (Revelation 19:19).
The battle will start with Christ descending from heaven with the armies of heaven, which are evidently angels, and others (cf. 2 Thessalonians 1:7; Matthew 24:29-31). Guns are fired, missiles launched, fighter planes dispatched, artillery belches fire and lead, and the two sides will engage with deafening ferocity.
Well, this last part is my imagination, but it makes sense. Don’t you think? That is what armies do. Unfortunately, their efforts are like flies bouncing off a brick wall.
Then Jesus opens up His salvos, “And from His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may smite the nations; and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God the Almighty. And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, ‘KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS’” (Revelation 19:15, 16).
The Battle of Armageddon is quickly over. The cries of the dying and the stench of the dead fill the air. The birds will be called to eat of the flesh of dead bodies. In fact, it will take over seven months to bury the dead (Ezekiel 38:12). The devastation of evil will be utter and complete.
The outcome of this ghastly battle is that the leadership will be captured. The Antichrist and his expert theologian, the false prophet, will be thrown alive into the lake of fire which burns with brimstone (Revelation 19:20). The rest were killed. Satan, however, will have a different ending. He will be bound and sealed in the abyss for one thousand years, according to the Bible.
His access to the earth will be terminated. However, at the end of that imprisonment, he will be released, and allowed to assemble another futile effort against God. He loses.
The Bible states, “And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the best and the false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever” (Revelation 20:10).
Bible prophecy can get murky because of its patchy presentation throughout Scripture, its vivid symbolism, sketchy details, and the absence of a clear, exact time line. I have given you one scenario of the Battle of Armageddon. However, it is possible that it is not the last battle. The last one being after Satan is released from the abyss (Revelation 20:7-9), and that is where Ezekiel 38 and 39 fit.
Finally, no one knows when the Battle of Armageddon will be. It is connected to the return of Christ, and no one knows that date except God (Acts 1:6, 7).
With this overview in mind, Esmie and I wish you all the best. You can be certain that no matter how dark and desperate is the days of our lives, ultimately evil will be completely destroyed. And, we hope that you will find Bible prophecy intriguing, and will delve deeper into the vast subject.
Dr. Willis and Esmie Newman
BIBLE STUDY QUESTIONS:
1. What are your views on the issue of good and evil? Why does God permit evil? Can He defeat it? Is it a draw between God and Satan? Explain.
2. Do you believe the Battle of Armageddon will be real? Explain.
3. Why do you suppose Satan thinks He can beat God?
4. Do you think Satan likes you (Revelation 12:10)? Explain.
5. Do you think God is just and fair to destroy those opposed to Him? Explain.
6. What emotions are stirred in you when thinking of the Battle of Armageddon? Explain.
7. What would you like to further study about Bible prophecy and the Battle of Armageddon? Why?
8. What do you think are the forces now restraining evil in the world before the Battle of Armageddon (2 Thessalonians 2:6-9)?
9. What does Satan use signs and wonders for (2 Thessalonians 2:9, 10; Revelation 16:14)?
10. What stands out to you the most about the Battle of Armageddon?
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