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April 17, 2006
Many people believe Armageddon is a term for the destruction of our planet, but that is simply not true. Armageddon is when Satan gathers the armies of the earth together at the valley of Megiddo in Israel to oppose Jesus when He returns to earth to set up His kingdom. The players in this battle are the armies of the east (the oriental people), the west (Europe and its allies), and the Mideast (much of this army may already be wiped out according to the prophecy of Ezekiel in Chapters 38 and 39). In all likelihood, the men who are in these armies believe they are there for another reason, but it is Satan who has gathered these armies together for the purpose of opposing Christ at the day of His return.
Revelation 19: 19 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. 20 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. 21 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.
These scriptures describe what is known as Armageddon. It is not the end of planet earth but the beginning of a new age in which Jesus Christ is king of the Earth and will reign from Jerusalem. Why do you think the Muslim world wants Israel destroyed? They are merely pawns of Satan in a much bigger battle that is taking place. They see any and all supporters of Israel as their enemy. What they don't realize is they see through the eyes of the evil one who opposes Christ.
This final and bloody battle which ends with Jesus destroying these armies simply by speaking His word is spoken of in the Old Testament as well as in the New Testament. The story of Armageddon is not contained in the book of Revelation alone.
Psalm 2 states, The kings of the earth set themselves, And the rulers take counsel together, Against the Lord and against His Anointed, saying, 3 "Let us break Their bonds in pieces And cast away Their cords from us." 4 He who sits in the heavens shall laugh; The Lord shall hold them in derision.
Who are the Anointed in this passage of scripture? They are the ones who have had their sins washed away by the shed blood of Christ. They return to Earth with Christ at this point in time. They are not angels (but angels will probably be among them) as many believe. They are the redeemed.
In order to return to Earth with Christ, the redeemed must leave the earth at some point.
Psalm 2 goes on to say, 7 "I will declare the decree: The Lord has said to Me, 'You are My Son, Today I have begotten You. 8 Ask of Me, and I will give You The nations for Your inheritance, And the ends of the earth for Your possession. 9 You shall break them with a rod of iron; You shall dash them to pieces like a potter's vessel.' "
To oppose God is the ultimate act of foolishness, yet the world is doing that very thing. Those who oppose God will be destroyed. These armies that are gathered together are not a redeemed people because they would have been removed from the earth if they had been.
God is also bringing judgment upon the nations of the earth for the way they have treated Israel. Right now, the entire Islamic world is opposed to Israel and Russia is their ally. By their hatred of Israel, the Muslim word has, in fact, pronounced a death sentence on themselves. The battle of Armageddon is also referred to in Joel Chapter 3.
1 "For behold, in those days and at that time, When I bring back the captives of Judah and Jerusalem, 2 I will also gather all nations, And bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat; And I will enter into judgment with them there On account of My people, My heritage Israel, Whom they have scattered among the nations; They have also divided up My land.
God is saying here that at the time that the nation of Israel is restored (which occurred in 1948), He would bring the Jewish people who had been scattered among the nations back to their land and we are seeing that happening today and in previous years. God is angry with the nations because they were responsible for the dispersion and they are responsible for claiming land that does not belong to them but to God. These land for peace deals that the world tries to force upon Israel makes God angry. Armageddon will be the result. Joel 3 goes on to say:
9 Proclaim this among the nations: "Prepare for war! Wake up the mighty men, Let all the men of war draw near, Let them come up. 10 Beat your plowshares into swords And your pruning hooks into spears; Let the weak say, 'I am strong.' " 11 Assemble and come, all you nations, And gather together all around. Cause Your mighty ones to go down there, O Lord. 12 "Let the nations be wakened, and come up to the Valley of Jehoshaphat; For there I will sit to judge all the surrounding nations. 13 Put in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe. Come, go down; For the winepress is full, The vats overflow-- For their wickedness is great." 14 Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision! For the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision. 15 The sun and moon will grow dark, And the stars will diminish their brightness. 16 The Lord also will roar from Zion, And utter His voice from Jerusalem; The heavens and earth will shake; But the Lord will be a shelter for His people, And the strength of the children of Israel. 17 "So you shall know that I am the Lord your God, Dwelling in Zion My holy mountain. Then Jerusalem shall be holy, And no aliens shall ever pass through her again."
Jehoshaphat is another name for the valley of Megiddo. God is saying the weak nations will deceive themselves into believing they are strong. In fact, they think they can take on the creator of the universe. Armageddon will be the bloodiest battle in history. It is a very good demonstration as to what happens to a people who reject the word of God and choose to believe the lies of Satan.
This will not be an easy time for the nation of Israel either. Many Jewish people will perish because of their refusal to believe in Christ. Yet, many Jews will come to a saving faith in Christ and their lives will be spared at the most perilous time in history. Zachariah 14 gives another Armageddon account.
1 Behold, the day of the Lord is coming, And your spoil will be divided in your midst. 2 For I will gather all the nations to battle against Jerusalem; The city shall be taken, The houses rifled, And the women ravished. Half of the city shall go into captivity, But the remnant of the people shall not be cut off from the city. 3 Then the Lord will go forth And fight against those nations, As He fights in the day of battle. 4 And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, Which faces Jerusalem on the east. And the Mount of Olives shall be split in two, From east to west, Making a very large valley; Half of the mountain shall move toward the north And half of it toward the south. 5 Then you shall flee through My mountain valley, For the mountain valley shall reach to Azal. Yes, you shall flee As you fled from the earthquake In the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Thus the Lord my God will come, And all the saints with You. 6 It shall come to pass in that day That there will be no light; The lights will diminish. 7 It shall be one day Which is known to the Lord-- Neither day nor night. But at evening time it shall happen That it will be light.
Again, we read that the saints or the redeemed people will be with Christ. Some of these saints will have died during the tribulation period. These passages are very scary if taken alone, but when you read the aftermath, you will see the Earth will finally be at peace and Jesus will rule the nations. Zech 14 goes on to say:
8 And in that day it shall be That living waters shall flow from Jerusalem, Half of them toward the eastern sea And half of them toward the western sea; In both summer and winter it shall occur. 9 And the Lord shall be King over all the earth. In that day it shall be-- "The Lord is one,"* And His name one. 10 All the land shall be turned into a plain from Geba to Rimmon south of Jerusalem. Jerusalem* shall be raised up and inhabited in her place from Benjamin's Gate to the place of the First Gate and the Corner Gate, and from the Tower of Hananeel to the king's winepresses. 11 The people shall dwell in it; And no longer shall there be utter destruction, But Jerusalem shall be safely inhabited.
Jerusalem, the most troubled spot in the world today, will become the city of peace which is what the name "Jerusalem" means. For those who trouble themselves with Jerusalem, like the Muslims who are ready to kill over a cartoon, Zechariah shows what their fate will be:
12 And this shall be the plague with which the Lord will strike all the people who fought against Jerusalem: Their flesh shall dissolve while they stand on their feet, Their eyes shall dissolve in their sockets, And their tongues shall dissolve in their mouths. 13 It shall come to pass in that day That a great panic from the Lord will be among them. Everyone will seize the hand of his neighbor, And raise his hand against his neighbor's hand; 14 Judah also will fight at Jerusalem. And the wealth of all the surrounding nations Shall be gathered together: Gold, silver, and apparel in great abundance. 15 Such also shall be the plague On the horse and the mule, On the camel and the donkey, And on all the cattle that will be in those camps. So shall this plague be. 16 And it shall come to pass that everyone who is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles. 17 And it shall be that whichever of the families of the earth do not come up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, on them there will be no rain.
The world rejects Christ much to the dismay of Christ because He would like to give them eternal life. However, in the end, For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. 11 For it is written: "As I live, says the Lord, Every knee shall bow to Me, And every tongue shall confess to God." Romans 14
Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction.
Copyright 2006 by Gary Goodworth
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