What is the battle of Armageddon and where will it take place? Armageddon will be a real battle, there is no disputing that. But if you do a search on it, you will find most websites declaring that it will be a physical war, between the nation of Israel and other nations, maybe Russia, Syria or Iran. And Yet other websites will describe a fictitious event such as an asteroid hitting earth or something to that extent. As we learned from Israel in the end times, most Christians are focusing their attention on the literal nation of Israel. But as we learned from this study, the physical nation of Israel are no longer God's chosen, because God no longer regards the flesh, but anyone who comes to Christ, whether Jew or Gentile, they are regarded as 'spiritual' Israel, and God's chosen. So when the book of Revelation talks about Israel, it is talking about 'spiritual' Israel, not the physical nation. You see, the promises found in the Old Testament to the nation of Israel were conditional.
1 Kings 9:6-7 ...'But if ye shall at all turn from following me, ye or your children, and will not keep my commandments and my statutes which I have set before you, but go and serve other gods, and worship them: Then will I cut off Israel out of the land which I have given them; and this house, which I have hallowed for my name, will I cast out of my sight; and Israel shall be a proverb and a byword among all people.'
As we all know, the nation of Israel, kept falling in and out of apostasy, and finally, God gave them 490 years to put an end to their sins and accept Jesus when He came the first time. We learned this from the 70 weeks of Daniel study. It is a biblical fact that the Jews rejected Jesus and at the end of the 490 years when they stoned Stephen (Acts 7), God cut them off, and they were no longer the chosen nation. The gospel went out to the Gentiles and now anyone who would come to Jesus and follow Him, were God's chosen.
Take a look at this rule on how to properly interpret bible prophecy. Read it a few times to grasp it: "There is a primary, literal, local application of prophecy, which points to a future, worldwide, spiritual application." (Doug Bachelor, Amazing Facts)
When bible prophecy was given to the people in bible times, unless it was sealed like Daniel's prophecy, it had a literal present meaning to them, but it also has a spiritual meaning to us at the end times. This is an important fact to remember, when studying bible prophecy concerning the end times. Although the promises to Israel failed, because they failed to be faithful, those promises were never withdrawn by God, but just applied to a new spiritual people, Christians! And now too many Christians are focusing on the physical application and completely ignoring the spiritual application. After all, we are to worship God in spirit and truth are we not? God is a Spirit and looks on things in a spiritual way. Please don't forget that. Just to give you a quick example, the nation of Babylon is mentioned in the bible prophecies of Daniel, which pointed to the physical nation, but Babylon is also mentioned in Revelation 17. This Babylon is spiritual Babylon, and doesn't point to the physical nation, but to the Roman Catholic Church, who took on many of the pagan beliefs of Babylon.
How is satan going to gather all the inhabitants of the earth (BILLIONS) to that small mount?
Armageddon only appears once in the bible, in Revelation 16. Let's take a look ... Revelation 16:12-21 ...'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. And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done. And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great. And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath. And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found. And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent: and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague thereof was exceeding great.'
Now there isn't any place in the world called Armageddon, so what does it mean? Well, Strong's Concordance describe it as follows: "The Hill or city of Megiddo" - "In Rev. 16:16 the scene of the struggle of good and evil"
Remember that our battle is not against physical forces in this world, but against spiritual forces ... Ephesians 6:12 ...'For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.' ... Our battle is against the spiritual forces of satan. Now why would God say that the battle of His people are not against physical forces, but spiritual ones, and then give a bible prophecy saying that the final main battle is against physical worldly forces? It makes no sense! The battle of Armageddon is the climax of satan's attack on the people of God. Satan wants the world to worship him rather than God. He wanted to exalt himself to the throne of God and receive the worship of the universe (Isaiah 14:12-14).
When did Jesus EVER say His people would be involved and fight in a physical war?
Now if we look at the root meaning of Armageddon, we will begin to see what this actually means. The Hebrew term 'har - megiddon' means 'a mountain of crowds or congregation'. Now taking a look at another mount, mount Zion, that is the place where God dwells.
Psalm 48:2 ...'Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great King.'
Psalm 9:11 ...'Sing praises to the LORD, which dwelleth in Zion.'
Joel talks about mount Zion being a place where God's people are gathered ... Joel 2:15,16,23,32 ... Blow the trumpet in Zion, sanctify a fast, call a solemn assembly: Gather the people, sanctify the congregation, assemble the elders, gather the children, and those that suck the breasts: let the bridegroom go forth of his chamber, and the bride out of her closet. Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the LORD your God: for he hath given you the former rain moderately, and he will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain in the first month. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call.'
If we remember that the Jews, the literal nation of Israel are no longer God's chosen people, but anyone who comes to Jesus is God's chosen, as it says above in Joel ..'it shall come to pass that whoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.' ... Since the Jews rejection of Jesus, the term Zion, has been applied in a spiritual sense to the Christian Church. So, no longer in the New Testament is it applied to a physical earthly location (as in the actual temple in the north of Jerusalem), but a people, God's chosen Christian people, as in you and me. In the New Testament, it says that we are now the temple of God, and God dwells in us (1 Corinthians 3:16). So we can apply a spiritual application to the verses of Joel above. God's true people scattered throughout the earth are in a spiritual sense, gathered and are in God's presence and receive His protection.
As we see in Revelation 16, satan also gathers a people for the great battle between good and evil ... Revelation 16:13-14 ...'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.'
Satan gathers the wicked to fight against God's people scattered around the earth. The unclean spirits like frogs out of the mouths of the dragon, beast and false prophet, are false apostate doctrines. Please note, the dragon is satan, the beast is the Papal Church of Rome, and the false prophet is America. Now have a good think about this point: Is satan going to gather all the wicked of the world and God gather all the saints of the world to a relatively small mount in Israel for a physical fight? We are talking of billions of people. This just isn't possible. This battle of Armageddon is one that is fought throughout the whole earth, not just in the nation of Israel.
So what about the drying up of the Euphrates? ... Revelation 16:12 ...'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.' ... In the Old Testament, when God's people were held in bondage and persecuted by Babylon for 70 years, God used Cyrus to free them. Now Cyrus diverted the actual Euphrates river and got access to the city under the gates of the channel and captured Babylon ... Isaiah 45:1 ...'Thus saith the LORD to his anointed, to Cyrus.' ... Isaiah 41:2 ...'Who raised up the righteous man from the east.'
Notice that God calls Cyrus His 'anointed one' and 'righteous one' from the east. This is to be applied in a spiritual sense to the end times. Now in Revelation we see another Babylon (Rev. 17) who oppresses God's people, but this Babylon is spiritual Babylon, an apostate religious system (Roman Catholic Church), and God's people are finally delivered from this 'Babylon' by a drying up of the river Euphrates. But remember, the Old Testament account was a physical, local account that happened, whereas this end times account in Revelation has a spiritual, worldwide application. Water in bible prophecy represents peoples and nations ... Revelation 17:15 ...'And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.' ... This is spiritual Babylon (Roman Catholic Church) and the waters represent the people and nations that support her.
Now look at this amazing parallel with the Old Testament account:
As in the literal Old Testament account of Babylon, the waters around the city that protected it, were dried up by Cyrus, and then the city was captured and destroyed. The water around spiritual Babylon in Revelation (peoples and nations) are also dried up to bring this spiritual Babylon down. But how?
Revelation 17:16 ...'And the ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire.'
The people and nations who once supported this apostate religion, will realize that they have been tricked as they receive the last plagues ... Revelation 16:12 ...'And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up.' ... At the pouring of this vial (plague), the nations who supported the Roman Catholic Church (Babylon) will know they supported the wrong camp and will turn on her and destroy her, instead of God's people. And God's people will be released from persecution and bondage at her hands. So just as the literal Euphrates in ancient Babylon was turned from it's protection to it's destruction, so will the supporting waters (people) of spiritual Babylon in Revelation turn into her destruction. This now prepares the way of the Kings of the east. who are they?
Remember we learned that Cyrus in the Old Testament who diverted the river Euphrates to capture Babylon, was called the 'anointed one' and 'righteous one' from the east? The spiritual application of this pointed to Jesus at His second coming. Take a look at the following verses:
Revelation 7:2 ...'And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God.'
Matthew 2:2 ...'Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.'
Matthew 24:27 ...'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.'
Revelation 17:14 ...'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.'
Revelation 19:16 ...'And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.'
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.'
Who are these Kings of the east? It is none other than Jesus, the King of kings, with all His angels at the second coming. Jesus returns with His angels as the King of kings to destroy the kings of the earth. It's sad that so many Christians have their eyes fixed on the Middle East, the literal nation of Israel, where the hate filled sons of Abraham (in the flesh) destroy each other with American and Russian weapons. The Jews of the flesh are no longer God's chosen, please understand that vital point. Study the 70 weeks of Daniel a few times to grasp this important issue, which will open up your understanding of the role of Israel in the end times. Take your eyes away from Israel and a physical battle of Armageddon, in the land of the east, and fix them on the eastern skies, where our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ will return with the armies of Heaven.