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The Battle of Armageddon

04/02/2021

TableTalk – The Battle of Armageddon

TableTalk – The Battle of Armageddon 

Text, Judges 4 and 5, Revelation 16:12  

In our last Table Talk, we looked at the subject of the ‘General Resurrection of the Dead.’   It’s a simple enough end-times position, but it seems to leave little room for this great battle, the conflict to end all conflicts, the Battle of Armageddon.  So, let’s see what the common opinion and belief about Armageddon is, and then attempt to contrast that with a reformed viewpoint, – a non-millennialist standpoint that will be Biblical.

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To LISTEN TO THIS LESSON AS A PODCAST CLICK THIS LINK.

1. Armageddon and Speculation.

Admitting my deficiency in premillennialism I looked through some websites, – there’s plenty of them, to get some consensus on what premillennialists and dispensationalists really believe about Armageddon.  Here’s some of what I learned:-

  1. At Armageddon the Antichrist, the ‘false prophet’ and the devil himself, or his minions on his behalf, will raise an army and will engage in battle at Megiddo.  This will happen sometime after the second coming/rapture, but exactly when depends on whether the preacher is convinced by Pre-tribulation, Mid-tribulation, Pre-wrath, and Post-tribulation Rapture views.  
  2. The battle will be after the return of Jesus.  Because premilleniallist Christians think Revelation is literal and is in the future,  (at least from chapter 4 onwards), and because they try to squeeze its visions into a prophetic linear chronology they take Revelation 16:12 literally. 
  3. Jerusalem will be destroyed and Jesus will attack the enemy from Mount Zion, where he has been reigning since the Rapture, or one or another of the several resurrections following the great tribulation.  He destroys the enemy’s headquarters, now at Jerusalem, and the enemy’s response is Armageddon.
  4. Armageddon is not true final battle – or maybe it is, then there might be another battle, after Satan is released at the end of the ‘Millennium,’ when the devil will lead another battle against God, and after this the Great White Throne judgement.

Confused? Is it any wonder that the premillenialists and dispensationalists often have to employ a big chart to try to get people to understand their prophetic schemes.  

2. Armageddon’s Solution.

Let’s use the rule of ‘First Mention’ by going back to the book of Judges, where we find the word ‘Megiddo’ (Har-Megiddo) used in the context of a mighty battlein Judges 4 and 5,   (See Judges 5:19)

  • After the death of Ehud, one of the judges, the people of Israel once again did evil, and God punished them by raising up a foreign king called Jabin the king of Canaan. They could not deliver themselves, for Jabin had a mighty army and a a fearsome commander, a man called Sisera.  Israel had not a sword or a spear among them.  
  • In the hills of Ephraim was a godly woman called Deborah, who sent for a leader of Israel called Barak, and commissioned him to lead an army into battle against Sisera.  Barak was less than happy with that order and only agreed to go into the battle if Deborah went too.  She said she would, but there’d be no battle honours for Barak, for The LORD would deliver Sisera into the hands of a woman.   
  • The battle occurred at a place called THE PLAIN OF MEGIDDO, where Barak marched out against a seemingly unbeatable foe, an army that had 900 metal chariots that would strike fear into any opposing force. Judges 4:14-15  
  • The LORD himself fought against the army of Sisera – and the battle was won, not by the weak and powerless Israelites, but by God himself.  Sisera fled on foot, and met his death at the hands of Jael, as Deborah had said.  

In chapter 5, Deborah sings a song of praise to the Lord, showing how God in his majesty caused the whole universe to repel his foes. Judges 5:4-5, Judges 5:19-21

So, in Revelation, when God speaks through John about Armageddon, (Har-Megiddo), about God coming to fight on behalf of his people, about kings gathering on a plain…. What’s going to come to mind to those familiar with the history of Israel and the OT? Har-Megiddo becomes the symbol of every battle where God’s oppressed people are outnumbered until the Lord reveals his mighty power on their behalf, and defeats their enemy.  

3. Armageddon’s Symbolism.

The final battle in which God will come to the rescue of his people will be at the very last day of this earth’s history.  The final antichrist has been revealed and the whole world seems to be gathered to oppose and oppress the Lord’s church, and the true Christians are crying out to God for relief and deliverance. It seems that the battle is lost, when suddenly, dramatically and without warning, the Lord intervenes, delivering his people from the hands of his foes.  That is Armageddon! Compare Revelation 16:15 with the language of Paul and Peter, writing about the Second Coming in 1 Thessalonians 5:2 & 2 Peter 3:10  William Hendriksen, the author of a highly recommended commentary on Revelation called “More Than Conquerers” notes that  for the hosts of this world their fate will be utter defeat on that day.

  • The Antichrist.  Is overthrown and sent into everlasting punishment.  2 Thessalonians 2:8  Revelation 17:11   (destruction).
  • The hosts of evil.  They will be gathered before God’s throne, declared guilty by their own sinful rebellion against God and the wrath of God will be poured out upon them.  Matthew 13:41   Matthew 25:41-46  
  • The Devil.  He will be be cast into the Lake of Fire.  Revelation 20:10  

So, have we solved the mystery of the Battle of Armageddon?  Perhaps so, but remember that these are not saving matters, – what really matters is that we know that Christ is surely coming again, and that we should be waiting for that day, working for the Lord, redeeming the time, until that great day of the Lord occurs.  

© Bob McEvoy February 2021

From → Eschatology

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