The Battle of Armageddon
By Don Perkins
Revelation 16:16, “And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.”
The Battle of Armageddon is a future battle that has been so misunderstood by the church and the world. Whenever there is a major event dealing with a bomb in Israel, the News Media always responds with a headline like: “Armageddon is upon us!” or “The world is coming to an end!” But, in fact, many have no clue as to the true nature of what this great battle actually is.
What is the Battle of Armageddon?
The Battle of Armageddon will be a war of such catastrophic proportions, that nothing known to mankind can compare. Jesus Christ will attack and defeat Anti-Christ and his armies, resulting in monumental bloodshed and death in the land. This battle will take place in the prophesied geographic location, in the land of Israel, known as the Valley of Megiddo. This event will take place after the Great Tribulation Period, at the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, when He returns to set up His Millennial Kingdom on the Earth.
The Smith’s Bible Dictionary, defines Armageddon as: (the hill or city of Megiddo – Revelation 16:16). The scene of the struggle of good and evil is suggested by that battlefield, which was famous for two great victories. The first is of Barak over the Canaanites (Judges 4 & 5) and the second is Gideon over the Midianites (Judges 7). Two great disasters, the deaths of Saul and Josiah (2 Kings 23:29-30; 2 Chronicles 35:22). Hence, it signifies in Revelation a place of great slaughter, the scene of a terrible retribution upon the wicked. (The Revised Version gives the name as Har-Magedon, i.e. the hill (as Ar is the city) of Megiddo.
What does the term Armageddon mean?
HAR-MEGIDDO – “a mountain or range of hills, Hill country.” “mount of slaughter.” Refers to the hills of megiddo.
Megiddo – meaning “Rendezvous” Megiddon, a place in Israel.
GADAD – meaning: “To crowd; also to gash (as if by pressing into) Assemble (selves by troops). Gather (selves together, self in troop). Cut selves.”
The definition of Armageddon gives us a clue as to what this battle will be like. We can see that it is a battle that will be fought in the valley of a mountain range of hills. It will be a place of great slaughter for those who are gathered there which will include being cut into pieces. It will also be a place where troops will be gathered, assembled and pressed in together. Armageddon will be a battle like nothing this world has ever seen. And what is so amazing is the fact that this battle will take place as a result of the return of Jesus Christ. At this point, I need to emphasize a very vital point in understanding this teaching. That point is that, without the return of Jesus Christ in his Second Coming, there will be no Battle of Armageddon. His physical return is the catalyst that starts this battle.
Names Given to the Battle of Armageddon
The Battle of Armageddon is mentioned all through the Scriptures. However, you will not find the actual word Armageddon mentioned. Here we will examine verses in the Scripture that give reference to and allude to the Battle of Armageddon and the place where it will be fought.
1) The Supper of the Great God
Revelation 19:17, “And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God;”
2) Valley of Jehoshaphat
Joel 3:2, “I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land.”
3) Valley of Decision
Joel 3:13,14, “Put ye in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe: come, get you down; for the press is full, the fats overflow; for their wickedness is great. Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision.”
4) Day of Vengeance of our God
Isaiah 61:1, “The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;”
Isaiah 61:2, “To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;”
5) Great Winepress of the Wrath of God
Revelation 14:19, “And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God.”
Revelation 19:15, “And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.”
6) Battle of that Great Day of God Almighty
Revelation 16:14, “For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.”
The Battle of Armageddon in the Scriptures
Now, we will see this great battle as it is mentioned in the Scriptures. These verses are key to understanding this great event.
1) Revelation 14:17-20 — “And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle. And another angel came out from the altar, which had power over fire; and cried with a loud cry to him that had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe. And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God. And the winepress was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs.”
These verses tell us that the Battle of Armageddon will be like gathering grapes for the winepress. At the time of this battle, the ungodly will be gathered to the Valley of Megiddo and cast into the press to be judged by Jesus Christ. As grapes are trodden in a natural wine vat, so will the armies of Anti-Christ be trodden by Jesus Christ. The Scriptures here reveal the startling distance this battle will cover —1600 furlongs or about 176 miles.
2) Revelation 16:12-16 — “And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared. And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto 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 come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame. And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.”
Here are some key points in Chapter 16 that I think are very interesting. First, we see the great river Euphrates will be dried up so the kings of the East or the Orient can easily pass through it. I believe at this time the armies of Anti-Christ are being prepared for the time of Armageddon. We also have these supernatural demonic spirits like frogs that will go throughout the world to gather men for the Battle of Armageddon. I will discussed these demonic spirits in more detail in another section.
3) Revelation 17:12-14 — “These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast. These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.”
Here, in chapter 17, we see the prophesied end to the Battle of Armageddon. Jesus Christ will defeat the Anti-Christ and his armies. Anti-Christ is only given a short time to reign. His days of rule are limited to a seven year duration. One other important thing to note is that the armies that are with Christ are the Called, the Chosen, and the Faithful. Those who come back with Jesus Christ in His Second Coming will only be the redeemed.
4) Revelation 19:15-21 — “And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS. And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God; That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great. And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army. And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone. And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh.”
Here, in chapter 19, we see the complete picture of the Second Coming of Christ, resulting in the Battle of Armageddon. We see Christ coming in all of His wrath and glory with His army following Him on white horses. Jesus is pictured here as a man of war, judging in righteousness with the sword of His mouth. We see Him taking authority in the earth and removing the kingdom and reign of Anti-Christ. The Anti-Christ and False Prophet will be judged and eternally damned. All kinds of birds of prey will be gathered to eat the flesh of wicked men who perished in this battle. Armageddon will be like no other war in history. The Scriptures declare that men will mourn because of Jesus’ return.
5) Isaiah 63:1-4 — “Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? this that is glorious in his apparel, travelling in the greatness of his strength? I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save. Wherefore art thou red in thine apparel, and thy garments like him that treadeth in the winefat? I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with me: for I will tread them in mine anger, and trample them in my fury; and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will stain all my raiment. For the day of vengeance is in mine heart, and the year of my redeemed is come.”
Dr. Chuck Missler states in his book, Prophecy 20/20, regarding the Second Coming of Christ and the Battle of Armageddon:
“If this battle wasn’t stopped, all mankind would be destroyed; however, the Lord interrupts it, at Petra in Edom, fighting for His remnant of believers. He is described as covered with the blood of His enemies:”
“From Bozrah to The Valley of Jehoshaphat.
“The Antichrist is powerless before Christ. His armies are destroyed at Bozrah and then Megiddo. From Bozrah to Megiddo is 176 miles (1,600 furlongs).”
When will this Battle take place?
Now, the timing of this great battle is crucial to understanding it. Knowing this will help to keep you from being confused by all the hype that the news media erroneously reports about the Battle of Armageddon. The scripture describes four specific time references that clearly frame the timing of this event.
1) Immediately after the Great Tribulation
Matthew 24:28-30 “For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together. Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken.”
2) After the Marriage Supper of the Lamb
Revelation 19:7-21. “Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints. And he saith unto me, write, ‘Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb’ And he saith unto me, ‘These are the true sayings of God.'”
3) At The Second Coming of Jesus Christ
Revelation 19:11. “And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.”
4) Before the Millennium Period and before Satan is bound in the Bottomless Pit
Revelation 20:1-7. “And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.”
Where will this Battle take place?
Another crucial key in understanding this Battle is to know where this event will take place. This is a geographical battle. Knowing this will help to remove a lot of false teaching. Some believe and have taught that Armageddon will happen here in America. This is so far from the truth of God’s word. This battle has been prophesied to take place in the Middle East in the land of Israel.
Revelation 16:16, “And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.”
The oval-shaped valley, also known as Megiddo, is now commonly known as the Valley of Jezreel. Megiddo is located near the point of entry into the Jezreel Valley. It is the most important passage through the Carmel range. It controlled the “Way of the Sea”. This important highway was the ancient trade route between Egypt and Mesopotamia. In addition to invading armies, traders from all over the world passed by its walls and probably through its gates.
The Battle of Armageddon: A One Day Battle!
Zechariah 14:6-7, “And it shall come to pass in that day, that the light shall not be clear, nor dark: But it shall be one day which shall be known to the LORD, not day, nor night: but it shall come to pass, that at evening time it shall be light.”
This verse in Zechariah, alludes to the glorious event of when Jesus Christ comes and the circumstances that surround His Second Coming. This battle will not be a campaign that will last for several months or even days. He only needs one day to accomplish His mission. Think about it, this is the Lord of Lords and King of Kings who is fighting at this time. This battle will be precisely executed by the unadulterated power of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Scriptures declare that when Jesus return, He is coming in the power of His Glory.
2 Thessalonians 2:8, “And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming.”
Who are the Armies and How will they get there?
There will be two great opposing armies assembled for the Battle of Armageddon. The army of Jesus Christ who is coming back with Him out of Heaven. And the armies of the Anti-Christ, who will be supernaturally drawn to this battle. They will come from all over the world and be gathered together into the Valley of Megiddo.
Let’s look at armies who will participate in this battle.
A) The Armies of Jesus Christ
The armies of Jesus Christ will be comprised of the Saints who were Raptured and the Angelic Host of Heaven.
1) Revelation 19:14, “And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.”
2) Jude 1:14-15, “And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.”
3) 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9, “And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels. In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power.”
B) The Armies of Anti-Christ
The armies of Anti-Christ will be comprised of the kings of the earth, bond and free. Many of which who have received the Mark of the Beast. This army will be a mass group of rebels who have formed an alliance with Anti-Christ.
1) Revelation 19:19, “And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army.”
2) Revelation 17:12,13, “And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast. These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast.”
Now, we’ll look at how these armies will get to this great battle field.
Armies of Jesus Christ
We know from our study of the Second Coming that the armies that are coming with Jesus Christ will be comprised of the Saints who were Raptured and the Angels of Heaven.
1) 1 Thessalonians 3:13, “To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.”
2) Matthew 25:31, “When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory.”
Armies of Anti-Christ
The armies of the world will be gathered to join forces with the Anti-Christ. To see this gathering in the Scriptures we will have to dispelled a teaching that has been taught in the church for many years. In Luke 17:34-37, we find this phrase, “the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left.” I will go into much detail when we look closer at these verses. This text has been commonly attributed to the Rapture. In proper context it has nothing to do with the Rapture at all and everything to do with the Battle of Armageddon.
One Taken and the Other Left
Luke 17:34-37, “I tell you, in that night there shall be two men in one bed; the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left. Two women shall be grinding together; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two men shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.”
Here is where we stop reading when it comes to this text. We have been taught that this is a Rapture text because one is taken and one is left. But we must go and little further and question Jesus, like the Disciples did and find out where those taken went? Let’s pick up the text in verse thirty-seven. This verse gives us a major clue as to what Jesus was giving reference to.
Luke 17:37, “And they answered and said unto him, ‘Where, Lord?’ And he said unto them, ‘Wheresoever the body is, thither will the eagles be gathered together.'”
Some of the modern translations render the verse this way:
New American Standard Bible
Luke 17:37, “And answering they said to Him, “Where, Lord?” And He said to them, “Where the body is, there also the vultures will be gathered.”
New International Version
Luke 17:37, “Where, Lord? They asked. He replied, “where there is a dead body, there the vultures will gather.”
Jesus is telling his disciples that those who are taken at this time will be taken to a place where their dead bodies will be eaten by the vultures. I believe that Jesus is giving a prophetic prophecy about those who will be gathered supernaturally for the Battle of Armageddon. Let’s look at other text that supports this belief.
Matthew 24:27-29, “For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together. Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.”
Here, Jesus is using the same text to let us know the timing of the events of Luke 34-37. He mentions that, at His Coming, the carcases of men will be gathered and eaten by eagles (vultures). This event takes place immediately after the tribulation of those days. Here is a direct connection to the Second Coming and the Battle of Armageddon. Let us go a little further with the Scriptures to see it even clearer.
1) Revelation 16:12-16, “And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared. And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty… And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.”
Here, at the pouring out of the Sixth Vial Judgment in the latter half of the Great Tribulation Period, three unclean spirits will be released out of the mouths of the Dragon (Satan), the Beast (Anti-Christ), and the False Prophet. These are three demonic spirits. They are demonic spirits that are on assignment to go throughout the whole world the gather men for the Battle of Armageddon. I believe, at this time, the ungodly will be supernaturally influence by these demonic spirits and will be drawn to the place of Armageddon to join with the Anti-Christ to comprise his army. There they will be destroyed by Jesus Christ and their dead bodies will be eaten by vultures. Therefore, the context of Luke 17:34-37, has nothing to do with the Rapture. It is a prophecy of the ungodly being supernaturally gathered as part of the army of Anti-Christ for the Battle of Armageddon. Look at Revelation 19:17-18.
2) Revelation 19:17-18, “And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God; That ye may eat the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great.”
At the Battle of Armageddon, Jesus is coming as a Man of War to judge the Anti-Christ and his armies. He will cast the Anti-Christ and False Prophet alive into the Lake of Fire. And, the remnant of Anti-Christ’s armies will be eaten by the birds of prey.
3) Revelation 19:20-21, “And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone. And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh.”
What will the Battle of Armageddon Accomplish?
The Battle of Armageddon will accomplish many things in the overall program of God. Below is a list or summary of what we have just seen in the Scriptures about this awesome event that will happen in the future.
7) Blood shed up to the horses bridle. (Revelation 14:20)