This is where we talk about the last great battle before the Millennium:
The Battle of Armageddon
Where do we find this last battle?
12 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. 13 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. 14 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.
15 “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.”
16 And they gathered them together to the place called in Hebrew, Armageddon.
– Revelation 16:12-16
There’s no ‘h’ in Greek, so Har Megiddo comes out as ‘Ar’, and ‘Mageddon’ – all fused together. And, Megiddo is the main exit out of the Jezreel valley, into the coastal plain of Israel. It’s also how you invade Israel, if your target is Jerusalem. And, for some reason, God allows the Kings of the East and the rest of the world’s armies assemble in the Jezreel valley.
Why did God choose Jezreel?
Why not the coastal plains?
Why not further north, in Syria or Lebanon?
Ultimately, none of those questions matter. What matters is that the nations of the world assemble in the Jezreel Valley and attempt to move south, through the choke point of Megiddo. It’s the traditional – and most logical – way for Israel and then Jerusalem to be invaded.
Now, you could invade Jerusalem by going down through the Jordan valley, but only if you were insane. The way is narrow and would cause any large army to be strung out in a long, thin line – making it extremely vulnerable to attack. And, when you reached the point where you need to turn towards Jerusalem, you’d find yourself fighting up much steeper slopes, than if you invaded from the west.
Conversely, once you get past Megiddo and through the valley into Wadi Ara, you now have access to the Coastal Plain. From that point, you can curve around the northern part of the central mountain range and attack Jerusalem from more than one direction, from the west and from the south – if you go down to Hebron and then up through Bethlehem.
The point is that the ‘Battle of Armageddon’ happens at Megiddo because the target is Jerusalem. The forces that assemble to fight God aren’t really interested in Yafo, Tel Aviv or Netanya. They have less interest in Haifa, Kfar Saba or even Tiberias. They want Jerusalem. But, they can’t get to Jerusalem without getting past Megiddo.
So, aside from Revelation 16, where else do we find this Battle of Armageddon?
Well, we have 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.
– Revelation 19:19-21
If you want other views of Armageddon, you can look at these chapters:
Isaiah 17 – verses 12-14
Isaiah 26 – verse 21
Isaiah 27 – verse 1
Zephaniah 3 – verse 8
Those chapters often talk about more than just Armageddon, and each offers a somewhat different perspective of that event. But, I want to focus a bit on Zechariah 14, because it provides an exceptionally informative account that stands in contrast to Zechariah 12 and 13.
Here are the parts that deal directly with Armageddon:
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.
– Zechariah 14:3-4
12 And this shall be the plague with which the Lord will strike all the people who fought against Jerusalem:
Their flesh shall [h]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.
– Zechariah 14:12-14
THAT is Armageddon. It’s not the coming of the Antichrist. And, it’s not the battle at the end of the Millennium. And, we know that it isn’t final-final battle after the thousand year reign of Christ because of these verses:
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. 18 If the family of Egypt will not come up and enter in, they shall have no rain; they shall receive the plague with which the Lord strikes the nations who do not come up to keep the Feast of Tabernacles. 19 This shall be the [i]punishment of Egypt and the punishment of all the nations that do not come up to keep the Feast of Tabernacles.
– Zechariah 14:16-19
THAT is the Millennium. Nothing less. Therefore, Zechariah 14 is directly talking about the Second Coming of Christ and the Battle of Armageddon. And, it offers interesting details that Revelation does not. For instance, without this chapter, we would not know that there are Israeli Christians who also fight against the armies of Satan.
I find myself mystified by this, but that shouldn’t stop us from adding this account to what we know about the coming of this great battle.
And, we know that God rescues Jerusalem BEFORE the Battle of Armageddon, because of this verse in Joel 3
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.
– Joel 3:16
By the way, Zechariah adds some interesting depth to what is said in Revelation 16. Verse 19 says this:
19 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
– Revelation 16:19
I never quite understood why the city of Jerusalem would be split into three pieces until I read what Zechariah said about the Mount of Olives being split in two. The reason WHY the city is split into three parts, is precisely due to the fact that Jesus stands on the Mount of Olives and has split that mount in such a huge way (Zech 14:4).
Okay, we could spend a lot of time just on Armageddon, itself. But, we have bigger fish to fry. The point is that we now have an understanding of what the Battle of Armageddon is like. And, we can now go and compare the other battles to this one and see if ‘Gog and Magog’ is similar to the last great battle before the Millennium.