April 5, 2020
Anyone with a modicum of intelligence can see storm clouds gathering. The dynamite is laid, the fuse placed, the match struck, and we all know we’re running out of time. Current events are markers along the way, pointing to the coming Battle of Armageddon. Let this give you comfort: There is a God, and He’s in control, no matter what.
In Revelation 19:11-16, the Apostle John saw a vision of the future, a glimpse of the beginning of the Battle of Armageddon. I’ve been to Megiddo and looked out at what Napoleon said was “the world’s greatest natural battlefield”—the Valley of Jezreel, surrounded by mountains on three sides. Ramses of Egypt, Roman general Titus, Napoleon, Nebuchadnezzar, and even Richard the Lionheart have fought battles there. It lies at an ancient crossroads for trade caravans. Scripture says the last great battle will be fought there, the one that ends all wars. We’re going to learn about that battle.
This passage from Revelation19 is just a snapshot of a panorama that began earlier. Let’s go back and look at the big picture along the road to Armageddon.
We’ll see this in today’s study. “…And they gathered them together to the place called in Hebrew, Armageddon” (Revelation 16:12-16). Something will draw armies to gather at Armageddon.
Certain factors will pave the way for this final battle before Jesus establishes His millennial kingdom:
As these signs come together, does it mean Armageddon is coming? No, it means the Rapture is coming; Armageddon and the Second Coming are close. Jesus could have come back any time after He rose from the grave and returned to Heaven, but these markers give us all the more reason to be ready. He’s coming as a thief in the night.
Satan has dark, miracle-working power. He sends out his demons, saying, “Get the nations ready. Mesmerize these monarchs. Manipulate these kings. Bring them to Armageddon.” Satan is itching for a fight with God.
You say, “How could Satan be so stupid?” Satan’s wisdom is warped, corrupted. He’s actually gathering the nations thinking he’s going to have a showdown at Megiddo with the very Son of God.
You will never understand what’s happening today in the news if you don’t understand that behind it all, standing in the shadows, is Satan. Demonic, malevolent powers are at work, conspiring against the plan of God beyond anything you could imagine. Scripture confirms that:
Paul, speaking of the antichrist and his work, “For this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie” (2 Thessalonians 2:11).
Demonic forces will promote Satan’s new religion of neopaganism, deceiving the nations of the world. You say, “Well, I’m smart enough the devil wouldn’t deceive me.” Jesus said, “He’ll deceive the very elect if it were possible.” Satan will have a heyday deceiving people, using seducing spirits and doctrines of demons. You’d better get a lock on the Word of God. (See also 2 Peter 2:1 and 1Timothy 4:1.)
In Revelation 17:12-15, a confederacy of “ten kings,” nations from the old Roman Empire (reunified Europe), are the core armies coming against Jesus. They are seduced by demons, drunk with power, intoxicated by pride, deceived by the devil, following Antichrist to Armageddon.
Who will be with Jesus, following the Lamb? The saved, the called, chosen and faithful.
Satan (in Revelation, called “the dragon”) has always wanted to “be like the Most High.” Pride made the devil the devil. His ambition has always been to be worshipped. He finally gets it in Revelation 13. The dragon says to the Antichrist, “I will pour my power into you if you’ll get the world to worship me.” Now it looks like it’s happening. Thus far, the Antichrist has been “Mr. Cool,” suave, gathering strength, unifying the world. The Jerusalem temple is rebuilt. Now is his golden moment. At the midpoint of the 7-year Tribulation, Antichrist strides into the temple declaring, “You’ve been looking for God. I am God!” This is the ultimate blasphemy.
The Jews will look at him and say, “You two-legged devil, you’re not God.” Antichrist has deceived them. The scales fall from their eyes; they see his arrogant pride. He will “make war with the saints” (Revelation 13:7) because they will no longer bow to him. Daniel prophesied it, and Jesus said it would happen (Matthew 24:15-22).
A time of unmitigated horror and evil begins, Satan’s revenge on those refusing to worship him, triggering a bloody war. The nations of the world gather together against Jerusalem, as Satan seeks to destroy those who will not worship him.
Not only is Satan’s pride wounded, but the party is over (Revelation 16:8-11). Plagues descend. You’d think these plagues would cause people to repent and turn to God. But they don’t. If the love of God doesn’t bring you to your knees, punishment won’t. But punishment is coming because God is a righteous, just God.
Antichrist learns he cannot control the forces of nature (Revelation 18:8). Insane with rage, his kingdom unraveling, he comes against the Lord.
We return to where we began, Revelation 19:11-16. I want you to see the scene. The Antichrist blasphemes God. Demonic spirits control the confederacy of ten nations moving against Jerusalem. What they call “the Jewish problem” will finally be settled. They camp in the valley of Jezreel, ready to move south against Jerusalem to eradicate God’s ancient people. It looks hopeless.
Suddenly there’s an invasion from the heavenlies. Jesus comes, followed by wave after wave, rank after rank of armies—not dressed in battle fatigues, but robed in white. From His mouth comes a two-edged sword, the Word of God (see Hebrews 4:12). Antichrist may have weapons, but “…the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds” (2 Corinthians 10:4). At that moment, Jesus speaks.
Have you ever thought of the power of the voice of our Lord? How did this universe come into existence? He spoke. “…the worlds were framed by the word of God… ” (Hebrews 11:3). He spoke it all into existence. We caught a glimpse on the Sea of Galilee, when Jesus spoke and it became calm. In the Garden of Gethsemane, He spoke to the arresting soldiers, who fell backward as if dead at the sound of His voice. How will the Battle of Armageddon be won? Our Master speaks. My friend John Phillips says, “Probably just two words: Drop dead.” The One who spoke them into existence will speak them into oblivion (Revelation 19:17-21).
Precious friend, don’t ever be at war with God. The time is coming soon when Jesus Christ will take care of Antichrist. The kingdoms of this world will become the kingdoms of our Lord and His Christ (Revelation 11:15). The saints have prayed through the ages, “Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven” (Matthew 6:10).
Are you at peace with God, or are you at war with God? Jesus made peace through the blood of His cross. You can sign a peace treaty with the Prince of Peace. You can be in league with the Lord if you’ll say yes to Calvary.
If you aren’t certain where you would be if you were to die today or Jesus were to come today, you can get that settled right now. Click here.