The Future Wars of the Nations (Part 7) — Armageddon

Jesus-will-return


TEXT: Revelation 16:12-16

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.

13 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.

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.

15 Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.

16 And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.

The Future Wars of the Nations (Part 7) — Armageddon

David Jeremiah said, “In the final showdown, all the rebellion of the prior seven years will come to a head at the Battle of Armageddon. In this battle, the Antichrist, the kings of the earth, and the pitiful souls following them will gather together one last time to try to defeat Jesus Christ.”

John MacArthur said, “Christ is coming to a hostile people who will eventually fight against him at Armageddon. So, the pretribulation rapture best pictures the king rescuing, by a rapture, His faithful followers who are trapped in a hostile world and who will later accompany Him when He returns to conquer His enemies and set up His kingdom.”

Charles Stanley said, “God uses vivid language to portray not only the beauties of heaven but also the heinousness of the last battle, the battle of Armageddon. For instance, an angel summons all the birds to clean up the carnage left behind. The buzzards are to be ready to eat the flesh of the rotting bodies . Blood will flow ‘up to the horses’ bridles, for a distance of two hundred miles.’ This battle will signal the end of this world as we know it. It is the final battle between good and evil. The word battle is a modest description. This is not a little skirmish; this is a war. The war. The big one. The last one.”

Tony Evans said, “The reason for this monumental battle is clear: This battle is inspired by the false trinity wanting to overthrow the true Trinity. The demons that call the kings to battle come from each member of this unholy trio. This is all-out, desperate war against God and His Son. Armageddon is the climax of the angelic conflict that began in heaven, was transferred to earth, and now has come full circle as Satan tries to defeat God by force.”

The word “Armageddon” has gained a place in popular culture. There was a film in 1998 titled “Armageddon”, about a meteor on course to strike Earth. There have been several novels and nonfiction books named “Armageddon.” Songs, music albums, comic book villains, and even a Scottish beer have been named “Armageddon.” However, it is most often used to refer to the idea of some great, global, earth-ending disaster or the idea of a final, climatic battle between the forces of good and evil.

Armageddon, however, is more than an idea. When we look at Scripture, we find that “Armageddon” is a place. The name comes from the Hebrew word, “har-me-giddo,” which means, a high place, a place of crowds. The central location of Megiddo in modern-day Israel was home to many fortresses built to protect the important ancient trade route that linked Egypt with Syria, modern-day Turkey, and other parts of Mesopotamia. Armageddon is situated at the place where three continents meet — Asia, Africa, and Europe. The great French emperor, Napoleon Bonaparte, called Armageddon the world’s greatest natural battlefield; and, one day, it will be the central point for the world’s greatest battle.

Dr. John F. Walvoord said, “The so-called Battle of Armageddon will occur during the final days of the Great Tribulation. As revealed in Revelation 16, God will pour out a series of seven devastating judgments on the earth called ‘vials of wrath.’ The first six vials of God’s wrath will serve as an introduction to what the Bible refers to as Armageddon. When the sixth vial is poured out, the time of the second coming of Christ is very near. Verse 12 says that the waters of the Euphrates River will be dried up to prepare the way for a military invasion of Israel by the Kings of the East.”

What leads up to this great battle? In our last message, we learned more about the war of the Antichrist and its aftermath. Although the Antichrist consolidates his control of the earth, God’s judgment will continue to rain down on the planet. Our passage for today begins, “And the sixth angel poured out his vial…” This vial results in Armageddon, but there are five other vials leading up to it. They are as follows:

– The first vial results in a “noisome and grievous sore upon the men which had the mark of the beast, and upon them which worshiped his image.”

– The second vial is poured out on the sea and “it becomes as the blood of a dead man: and every living soul died in the sea.”

– The third vial is poured out on rivers and other sources of freshwater; they also “become as blood.”

– The fourth vial is poured out on the sun causing it to “scorch men with fire” and “with great heat.”

– The fifth vial is poured out on “the seat of the beast” (his capital), causing it to be filled with darkness. The people therein also suffer from the pain caused by some type of disease during this time.

All of these severe judgments lead up to Armageddon. Despite the pain and suffering wrought upon the Antichrist and his supporters, John informs us that “they repented not to give [God] glory… and blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and repented not of their deeds.” This refusal to repent leads directly into the events of the sixth seal. John writes, “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.”

Who are the kings of the east? It is commonly believed that these kings represent China, Japan, North Korea, or all three. However, Dr. Ed Hindson states that there is nothing in the text to indicate this. He says that in ancient times, “‘the kings of the east’ was a common designation for the Parthians and other barbarians who lived east of the Euphrates and beyond the borders of the Roman Empire… The ‘kings of the east’ may simply refer to the Muslim nations of the east (Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and the former Muslim soviet republics), all of which are under the sword of Islam.” These Muslim nations may once again ally together to march upon Israel in a last great jihad against Jerusalem, “whereas the Antichrist appears to head up the secular powers of the west.”

Of course, that explanation only provides the political motivation for why all the nations of the world will descend upon the valley of Megiddo and the hills surrounding it for this last, great war. The real reason is given in verses 13-14 of our text. John says, “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.” The imagery of “frogs” speaks of something repulsive and disgusting. These evil spirits will convince the leaders of the world to send their armies to Jerusalem. No matter what pretense they send them under, the real reason — the reason acknowledged by Satan, the Antichrist, and the False Prophet — is to oppose the return of Jesus Christ. While the human agents involved in this sixth vial may not fully know what is going on, Satan will. He will recognize God’s judgment upon the Earth and the signs leading up to Jesus’ return. This gathering of armies to the plain of Megiddo and the surrounding hills is his last-ditch attempt to thwart the return of the King.

However, Heaven is undaunted. Notice Jesus’ words in verse 15: “Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.” Here we see the same cool, calm confidence as we see in other passages describing Jesus’ return. Though all the forces of Hell and Earth be allied against Him, Jesus will return, and when He does, it will be swift and sudden.

Further, we are told that the devil is not really in control of the armies being gathered at Armageddon. Verse 16 says, “And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.” The “he” in this verse refers to God. God is the one who draws the world’s armies forth to meet their just punishment for their opposition to God’s plan.

When the darkest hour of history descends upon the world, and it looks as if God’s people are about to be wiped out once and for all, a bright light will slice the heavens open revealing Jesus Christ, returning not as the suffering savior but as the conquering king. It will be an awful day for the world and for the devil. But it will be a wonderful day for God’s children.

_________________

If you are with us today, and you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, allow me to share with you how you can trust Him for salvation so that you can be ready for His return.

First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now that is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.

Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and today I choose to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Jesus Christ as my Savior and I choose to follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.

If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! Congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is receiving Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door.” Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”

God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.

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