The word “Armageddon” carries a lot of information in our culture. It brings to mind the end of the world and times of a great and final war. But have you ever looked at what the Bible teaches about this battle? You might be surprised as Robert removes the fiction from the facts presented in the Bible.

ROBERT >> We learned that there’ll be no signs to indicate when Christ is coming. It’s not something you can wait to prepare for when you see some signs; but rather you must always be prepared, because there are no signs of the end times. Christ will come suddenly, unexpectedly. Nobody but the Father knows when Jesus is coming again. We also learned that the Bible never speaks of a secret rapture of the church nor of the rise of the antichrist and the great tribulation in the end times. When Jesus comes, every eye will see him, all the dead will be raised, all will be judged to go to heaven or hell for eternity, and the world will come to an end. Well, that brings us to our topic today: The battle of Armageddon. What is the battle of Armageddon? Some believe it’s a great world-wide battle in the end times that threatens to extinguish all of mankind, but for the coming of the Lord. And with all the talk of Armageddon, you may be surprised to learn it’s only mentioned one time in the Bible, Revelation 16:16. And the battle is described in just two verses, Revelation 19:20-21. If you want to learn more about the battle of Armageddon, then stay tuned. We’ll be back in just a moment.

SINGING>> Speaking the truth, speaking the truth,
speaking the truth, speaking the truth in love.

ROBERT >> As I mentioned before, the battle of Armageddon is only mentioned once and described in just two verses in the book of Revelation. And we’ve already learned that Revelation is a highly-figurative book of symbols, written to the churches that were persecuted by the Roman empire in the first century. It was to assure them of victory through Jesus Christ. It was not about the end times; but when John wrote the book and gave it to those churches, it was shortly to take place. It was at hand according to Revelation 1:1-3. But let’s go this morning to Revelation chapter 16, where we find this mention of Armageddon.

Revelation chapter 16 records the pouring out of the seven bowls of God’s wrath upon the earth. Now, these bowls are reminiscent of the plagues that God sent on Egypt.

You remember the sores and the blood and the darkness and the frogs that you read about in Exodus chapters 7 through 11?

We see those same kinds of symbols used here in Revelation 16. It symbolizes God’s judgment, not on Egypt as it was in Exodus, but here, on the Roman empire, this great persecutor of God’s people. And with the pouring out of the sixth bowl, we read of Armageddon.

Let’s read it together in Revelation 16:12-16. “Then the sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up, so that the way of the kings from the east might be prepared. And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs coming out of the mouth of the dragon, out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. For they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty. Behold, I am coming as a thief. Blessed is he who watches, and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame. And they gathered them together to the place called in Hebrew, Armageddon.”

Well, in this vision we see the drying up of the Euphrates River and how it enables the king of the east to gather at Armageddon. This might remind you of many times when God has dried up the seas, when God has put his power upon the seas.

You remember the crossing of the Red Sea by Israel in Exodus chapter 14, how God parted those waters?

Or Joshua chapter 3, when Israel would later cross over the Jordan into the promised land, and God backed up those waters so they could go across on dry ground?

Or in 2 Kings chapter 2, where we read about Elijah and Elisha also crossing over the Jordan River?

God enabled that by his great power. And so here we see his power again at work on the Euphrates River. And it is in the picture allowing these kings then to gather for Armageddon. Now, you’ll notice that in our text he talks about these spirits of demons and these frogs that are spirits of demons, and they’re coming out of the mouth of the dragon. They’re coming out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet. We’ve already identified these in our study of Revelation in this series of lessons on Bible prophecy and the last days. And we’ve identified the dragon as Satan.

This goes back to Revelation chapter 12. We identified the beast as the Roman empire personified in her emperors who were demanding emperor worship, and the false prophet as the teachers and the enforcers, this cult of priests sent out by the emperor, of emperor worship. And so we see that these lies and these spirits of demons were coming from Satan as he was working through the Roman emperor and these false teachers of emperor worship. All of that’s in Revelation chapters 12 and 13.

Now, the frogs identified here as unclean spirits coming from the mouths of this terrible trio, this speaks of the lies and the deceptions used by Satan in the Roman empire. This was just the beginning of a falling away of the faith.

In 1 Timothy 4 the apostle Paul spoke of how that some would depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and the lies of demons. And just as the dragon and the beast and the false prophet and the frogs are symbolic in this picture, so is Armageddon. Armageddon literally means mountain of Megiddo. Now, Megiddo was a fortified city located on a plain near Mount Carmel.

You might remember this is where Jezebel’s false prophets of Baal were defeated in 1 Kings chapter 18.

It was also at Megiddo that Joshua defeated the Canaanites in Joshua 12:21. Deborah defeated the kings of Canaan in Judges 5 in this place. Gideon defeated the Midianites in Judges chapter 7 here. And Saul and Jonathan, they, too, were defeated at Megiddo in 1 Samuel 31. The evil king Ahaziah of Judah died there according to 2 Kings 9, and king Josiah disobeyed God and was mortally wounded in battle against Necho of Egypt at Megiddo, 2 Kings chapter 23 and 2 Chronicles chapter 35. And so Megiddo was one of the great battlefields of the world. It’s kind of like Waterloo or Normandy or the Texas Alamo. This great battlefield Megiddo was used by the Revelation as a symbol of the defeat of the Roman empire. This great persecutor of God’s people was going to fall. They were going to be brought down because of their evil against the church. The defeat of the Roman empire then is pictured here. And it’s pictured, and it comes with the pouring out of the seventh bowl.

I want to read to you as we go on in Revelation 16 verses 17 through 21. “Then the seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air, and a loud voice came out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done! And there were noises and thunderings and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such a mighty and great earthquake as had not occurred since men were on the earth. Now the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell. And great Babylon was remembered before God, to give her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of His wrath. And then every island fled away, and the mountains were not found. A great hail from heaven fell upon men, each hailstone about the weight of a talent. Men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail, since that plague was exceedingly great.”

This is a picture of the defeat of the Roman empire. Notice, this seventh bowl was poured out into the air. That’s where Satan rules. You read about it in Ephesians 2:1-3, Ephesians 6:12, he’s the prince of the power of the air. And it indicates how God has completely defeated Satan in his work through Rome against the church. This judgment on Rome was a judgment on Satan. And with the fall of the Roman empire came horrible chaos, came horrible destruction. And so when we read here about these earthquakes and how the city was divided into three parts and we read about the fleeing of the mountains and the hailstones, we need to recognize this is just apocalyptic language, this highly-figurative, symbolic language that we continue to read about in the book of Revelation and in many of the Old Testament prophecies we’ve seen before. It’s simply symbolic of this fall of governmental powers, of this great change in the politics of the day, of this great judgment in condemnation upon these enemy nations of God’s people. This was a destruction like never before. It was a great and grand fall. That great city called Babylon here, Babylon fell hundreds and hundreds of years before. This was talking about the new Babylon, Rome, the one that then ruled the world. And so this great city and the nations that were a part of her great empire, this great Babylon was defeated, her and her allies.

1 Peter 5:13, Peter makes reference to Rome and uses this cryptic term, Babylon, to refer to her.

In Revelation 11:8 we see it’s talking about those who were then persecuting God’s people, the Roman empire. And you read about the great description of this great Babylon, the Roman empire, in chapters 17 and 18 of the book of Revelation, that city on seven hills, the one who was drunk on the blood of the saints, that great harlot that had persecuted God’s people, and how that she would fall and how the nations would mourn because of her fall. And so we see here what we’re reading in the battle of Armageddon has reference to this great persecutor of God’s people. At the collapse of the Roman empire there was world-wide panic, there was great confusion. Civilization was set back for centuries. The world was plunged into the dark ages. And in the chapters which follow here in the book of Revelation, the great city Rome symbolized by Babylon, identified as the persecutor of the saints in Revelation 17, her fall is announced, the mourning of the nations in Revelation 18. After all of that, there is a great celebration of victory. It’s pictured as a wedding feast. It’s a celebration of victory in heaven with Christ and with his church. That’s what Revelation chapter 19 is about. And as you look at chapter 19 and that great victory feast from all of those who had been persecuted, from those who had been tortured, had been martyred for the cause of Christ, they’re celebrating with Christ over the fall of this great enemy. And Christ here is pictured in verse 11 as a warrior. And I want to read this to you.

Look at Revelation 19:11. “Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of god. And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: King of Kings and Lord of Lords.”

It’s Jesus Christ that gives the church her victory over her enemies; and in this case, over the cruel Roman empire. As you read on in Revelation 19, we see all the birds of heaven were called to feast upon the flesh of the enemy and on their horses, as their immediate defeat was certain. Rome was going to fall.

In Revelation 19:17-19, “I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the birds that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather together for the supper of the great God, that you may eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of captains, the flesh of mighty men, the flesh of horses and of those who sit on them, and the flesh of all people, free and slave, both small and great. And I saw the beast, the kings of the earth, and their armies gathered together to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army.”

They’re ready to feast because they know the enemy’s going to be defeated. I want you to notice something in all of this reading. There’s no mention of the modern warfare of nuclear weapons, of guns, of tanks, of helicopters, of planes, which many want to bring to Armageddon, as they want to put it at the end time, that moment just before the Lord comes.

And then notice the final two verses of Revelation 19, verse 20 and verse 21, the only description of the battle. Here it says, “Then the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. These two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone. And the rest were killed with the sword which proceeded from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse. And all the birds were filled with their flesh.”

Notice here this simple description of the battle of Armageddon. The beasts and the false prophet in the fire serve as an example of utter defeat. Their sentence is so certain, they’re pictured as already in the fires of hell, that lake of fire and brimstone. And the beast’s allies, they also were killed with the sword which proceeded from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse. That is, they were slain by the word of Christ, the sword of the Spirit, Ephesians 6:17, the word of God. They were not in the fire yet. Their sentence to hell is pictured in chapter 20.

I turn over there, and I look in verse 10, “The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.”

In verse 14 of Revelation chapter 20, “Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.”

This is obviously symbolic of a spiritual battle, a battle between Christ and Satan, between the church and the Roman empire. This was symbolic of a spiritual battle and God’s judgment upon that enemy, not a physical battle.

In 2 Corinthians 10:3-6, the Bible teaches us that we do not fight physical battles, but rather spiritual ones. I want to read it just the way the apostle Paul put it. 2 Corinthians 10:3, For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled. Again, it’s a spiritual battle. And that’s what we’re reading in the Revelation.

In Ephesians 6:10-20 we’re reminded to be strong in the strength of the Lord, to put on the whole armor of God so we can stand against the wiles of the devil.

No, Armageddon is not a holocaust in the Middle East at the end times. Such visions would have been absolutely meaningless to the persecuted churches to which the Revelation was written. Visions of the fall and the judgment of the Roman empire and the victory of the faithful with Christ, that would bring much comfort and hope to them in their sufferings. And it ought to bring much comfort and hope to us who are striving to live the faithful Christian life today, because we still have enemies all about us who would seek to destroy us; but we know as Peter pronounced on that first Pentecost after the resurrection of Christ, that Jesus was raised, that Jesus has ascended to God’s right hand, that he sits there, and he’ll continue to rule and reign until God puts every enemy under the footstool of his feet. And so it’s in that assurance of victory that we stand strong in our faith. And we encourage you who don’t know Jesus Christ as Lord and as Savior to come to him today, to let us know here at The Truth In Love how we can help you towards heaven.

SINGING>> All to Jesus I surrender, all to him I freely give.
I will ever love and trust him,
in his presence daily live.
I surrender all, I surrender all.
All to thee, my blessed savior,

I surrender all.
All to Jesus I surrender.
Lord, I give myself to thee.
Fill me with thy love and power,
let thy blessing fall on me.
I surrender all.
I surrender all.
All to thee, my blessed savior,
I surrender all.

ROBERT >> Thank you so much for watching our program today. Our interest in our viewers with regard to our program is about eternal salvation. It’s not about money. It’s not about anything like that. We’re interested in your soul. And the Bible says that for a person to be saved, they have to first of all believe in Jesus Christ. But not just believe in him generally. You must believe that he is indeed the Son of God.

He said, “Except you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins,” John 8:24.

But he also said that a person must repent of sins. And that means to change your mind about your sinful past and decide to change your action and live for God.

“Except you repent, you will perish,” Jesus said in Luke 13:3.

Paul said that “God commands all men everywhere to repent,” Acts 17:30.

And the Bible also teaches us that in order to be saved, we have to be willing to confess to others our faith in Jesus Christ.

Paul wrote to the Romans in Romans 10:10, “With the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”

But even that’s not enough, because the Bible also teaches that a person must be immersed in water to have their sins washed away by the blood of Christ.

Peter said on the day of Pentecost to those who asked what they must do to be saved, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins,” Acts 2:38.

Jesus said, “He who believes and is baptized will be saved,’ Mark 16:16.

So when a person does that, they don’t earn their salvation. It’s just the moment at which the blood of Christ washes sins.

Revelation 1:5 tells us that it’s the blood of Jesus that washes away our sins.

Acts 22:16 tells us when the blood washes. “Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.´

I hope that you’ll study these things for yourself to see if these things be so, and I hope and pray that if you’ve not obeyed the gospel, that you will before it’s eternally too late. If you have any questions, comments, or requests, if you would like a personal home Bible study or special prayers, if you’d like information about our lesson today, if you’d like to order today’s lesson or any other lesson on CD, DVD, or in manuscript form, let me encourage you to write The Truth In Love at P.O. Box 865, Hurst, Texas 76053.

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Remember, all our materials and services are absolutely free of charge. We just want to do what we can to help us all towards heaven. So let us know how we can help you, and please, join us next time right here on The Truth In Love.

SINGING>> Sing to me of heaven,
sing that song of peace.
From the toils that bind me it will bring release.
Burdens will be lifted that are pressing so,
showers of great blessing o’er my heart will flow.
Sing to me of heaven,
let me fondly dream of its golden glory,
of its pearly gleam.
Sing to me when shadows of the evening fall.
Sing to me of heaven,
sing the sweetest song of all.
Sing to me of heaven tenderly and low
till the shadows o’er me rise and swiftly go.
When my heart is weary,
when the day is long, sing to me of heaven,
sing that old, sweet song.
Sing to me of heaven,
let me fondly dream of its golden glory,
of its pearly gleam.
Sing to me when shadows of the evening fall.
Sing to me of heaven,
sing the sweetest song of all.

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