The Battle of Armageddon Dan Lightfoot Sunday AM 1453
Have you heard of it? From what we hear, we would think it was a major biblical subject ... It may surprise you to know that it is mentioned once …
Rev. 16:14-16 -- "...they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the whole world, to gather them together for the war of the great day of God, the Almighty. 15( "Behold, I am coming like a thief. Blessed is the one who stays awake and keeps his clothes, so that he will not walk about naked and men will not see his shame." ) 16And they gathered them together to the place which in Hebrew is called Har-Magedon."
That's it! But there are other things that help us to an understanding. What does it mean? & how do we understand its meaning?
A. Means "the hill..." or "Valley of Megiddo". The valley ran SE from Mt. Carmel to the Jordan River. (Valley of Jezreel where city of Megiddo was)
B. It refers to the place where many famous battles were fought & won.
1. Deborah was the Judge in Israel. (Judg. 4) She recruited Barak to lead Israel against the Canaanites at Mt. Tabor. Sisera was defeated & fled; was killed by Jael, the wife of Heber. 900 iron chariots! Great victory!
2. In Judges 7 -- Midianites & Amalekites invaded Jezreel and at Mt. Moreh Gideon and 300 men defeated them. They were like locusts & as many as sands on the seashore! Great Victory!
C. Famous also for the deaths & defeats that happened there.
1. King Saul & Israel fled from the Philistines in I Sam. 31. Fell at Mt. Gilboa. A wounded Saul asked his armor bearer to kill him; He ultimately fell on his own sword. Great defeat!
2. King Josiah was told by God not to fight Pharaoh Necho of Egypt. But he did. Met him in Megiddo. An errant arrow killed him. Great defeat! For he was the most righteous king in a long time.
D. Megiddo became a proverbial place in Israel.
1. When they were obedient to the word of God, it was a place of great victory in the face of overwhelming odds.
2. When they were disobedient, it was a place of devastating defeat…
3. For them to speak of Megiddo or Armageddon is like you or I talking of Waterloo or Pearl Harbor or Operation Desert Storm.
4. It is no longer a place; it is an idea, an illustration… a proverbial place. Each of these now has a meaning that we apply to other situations.
II. Revelation's Purpose
A. Rev. 1:1--The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to show unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John:
B. The events of Revelation must shortly come to pass.
1. The church was being sorely persecuted… Dometian of Rome
2. Ezekiel & Daniel had similar situations & used apocalyptic language, too. The signs & symbols would mean nothing to their enemies, but offered consolation and hope to those who understood.
C. Revelation is a collection of signs; things signified.
1. Armageddon is introduced with 15:1-- "Then I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvelous, seven angels who had seven plagues, which are the last, because in them the wrath of God is finished."
a. Another sign--This is the language of signs. Real but not literal.
b. the wrath of God is finished. -- When some read "finished" they think, "This has to be at the end of all God's wrath."
1] Not so. Ask, "Finished toward what?" Rome. The church's persecutor. Not the end of time. But the end of the Roman empire as they knew it.
2] The same language is used in Isa. 13 regarding Babylon -- which is the proverbial reference for Rome in Rev. When he talks about Babylon in Rev. he is meaning Rome. (As it happened to Babylon, so will it happen to Rome.)
2. Note the figurative use of language as Armageddon is introduced in
Rev. 16:13 -- And I saw coming out of the mouth of the dragon & out of the mouth of the beast & out of the mouth of the false prophet, three unclean spirits like frogs; 14for they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the whole world, to gather them together for the war of the great day of God, the Almighty. Apocalyptic language for troubled times.
III. Armageddon Described
Rev. 19:11-16 does not use the word, but describes the battle. "And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and He who sat on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and wages war. 12 His eyes are a flame of fire, and on His head are many diadems; and He has a name written on Him which no one knows except Himself. 13 He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. 14 And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, were following Him on white horses. 15 From His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty. 16 And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, "KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS."
A. Where does this battle take place? heaven (vv. 11 & 14) Nothing is said about Jerusalem or Megiddo as a literal place.
1. Keep in mind that heaven often does not mean the place where God dwells. It often means "the spiritual realm" … "high places"
2. cf. Eph. 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." (or, heavenly places; or heaven)
3. This is a spiritual battle -- real but not literal or fleshly.
B. Who is this rider?
1. Faithful and True... judges ...many diadems; ...clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. -- None other than Jesus
IV. The Result of Armageddon
Rev. 19:19-20:1 -- "And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies assembled to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army. 20 And the beast was seized, and with him the false prophet who performed the signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image; these two were thrown alive into the lake of fire which burns with brimstone. 21 And the rest were killed with the sword which came from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse, and all the birds were filled with their flesh. …. 1Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding the key of the abyss and a great chain in his hand. 2 And he laid hold of the dragon, the serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years;"
A. Who's the dragon? Satan. His defeat is pictured in many ways
1. Mt. 12:22-29-- casting out demons was … casting out Satan.
2. Luke 10:18 -- When the 70 preached the gospel Jesus said, "I was watching Satan fall from heaven like lightning."
3. John 12:31 -- In discussing His death Jesus said, "Now judgment is upon this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out. "
4. Col. 2:15 -- Paul: in the cross Jesus "disarmed the rulers and authorities, He made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through Him."
5. Rev. 12:9 -- Satan was thrown down when he failed to destroy Jesus as a child.
B. The battle of Armageddon is a spiritual battle. It referred in Rev. 16 to the victory of the church in John's day.
1. But it is God's way of telling us that if we will seek the truth & be obedient to the Word of God, God will give us the victory!
2. That's true in the first century… & it's true now. That's the message of Revelation to us! Now… & in the last days, too!
3. Satan cannot defeat us if we are standing in the truth of God's word...
C. So, what is the sword? No mystery. It is the Word of God.
1. Eph. 6:10-17 -- "...be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. 11Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. 14Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15and having shod your feet with the prep-aration of the gospel of peace; 16in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God."
2. Only one offensive weapon, the sword. Others defend us.
a. We need the belt of TRUTH that holds everything together…
b. Have vital spiritual organs protected by a breastplate of RIGHTEOUSNESS. Live in harmony with God's will & Jesus' life.
c. Helmet of SALVATION -- the knowledge that you are saved, right with God.
d. If you are going to fight and win, you need your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace. You are set and on 'ready' to go at any moment to teach the gospel.
e. You need the shield of faith -- that's your defense against the devil's weapons… temptation, deception, pride…
3. And we go to battle with the Word of God….
a. If we go with tho'ts like these, we'll be lost: "I've always tho't…"or, "Dad said…" or "My preacher says…"
b. The devil will chew us up & spit us out! We'll be Saul & Josiah!
c. It was the weapon Jesus used in His temptation in the wilderness. & He conquered.
4. How powerful is the Word? Heb. 4:12 -- "the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart."
a. We may have weapons that can destroy the world. But there is only one power that can save it. The gospel. Only one power that can blow sin out of a life. The gospel of Jesus.
b. Rom. 1:16-- "For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.
5. & Revelation was written to encourage us to continue the fight, to stand in the word of God, teach the word of God, to overcome Satan & all his forces by using the word of God.
D. The Battle of Armageddon is going on in your life right now. & in your mind.
1. Rev. says many will be deceived… but those who stand strong in the Word of God will overcome… those committed & passionate!
2. The most powerful demon that Satan sends into the world cannot overcome the Christian that is dressed in the armor of God.
3. Whatever your view of Armageddon is, God's message to you is, "be faithful unto death, & I'll give you the crown of life." (Rev. 2:10)
4. Jesus will take care of Satan in the end… but you had better take care of him in your battles. & your weapon is the Word of God.
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