Today most of America, and perhaps much of the world will be focused on a great playing field in which two opposing teams battle it out to see who is the best. This annual event is perhaps the biggest sporting event in history and draws 10’s of millions of viewers. Large sums of money are spent each year on super bowl advertising to capture the attention of the viewing audience, with the hopes of raking in huge profits off the popularity of the game.
As all eyes are focused on MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey where the Seattle Seahawks will battle the Denver Broncos for the chance to be crowned Super Bowl Champions, I would like us to look further east to another battle field where the champion of the world is to be crowned.
Who are the contestants of this great battle? A common reply would be “Russia, Syria, or Iran against Israel.” As the Middle East simmers toward a boiling point, and as U.S., British, and Israeli intelligence watch closely Iran’s quest for a nuclear bomb which might even be used against America. Millions of Christians, Jews, Muslims, and even secularists are pondering, “Is the Battle of Armageddon at hand?”
The word “Armageddon” only occurs in Revelation 16:16,
“Then they gathered the kings together to the place that in Hebrew is called Armageddon.”
This speaks of the kings who are loyal to the Antichrist gathering together for a final assault on Israel. At Armageddon “the cup filled with the wine of the fury of [God’s] wrath” (Revelation 16:19) will be delivered, and the Antichrist and his followers will be overthrown and defeated.
Interestingly, no place on earth actually bears the name Armageddon, and the above passage is the only mention of it in scripture and hence it is assumed that this is what scripture refers to but is it? The Greek is most commonly thought to be a transliteration of the Hebrew har megiddo, literally, “mountain of Megiddo.”
The Mount of Megiddo is in the plain of Esdraelon or Jezreel, a valley fourteen by twenty miles in size located to the southwest of Nazareth. Here, it is thought by many, that the great last battle of Armageddon will be fought at the end of time.
There will be a multitude of people engaged in the battle of Armageddon, as all the nations gather together to fight against Christ.
The scene: History’s last “Super Bowl. Final contestants: The Powers of Evil vs. the Power of God. Nature of conflict: Military. Epicenter: A small valley northwest of Jerusalem where all the armies of the world will converge for the battle of the ages.
In Old Testament days, Cyrus came from “the east” to conquer Babylon (Isaiah 44:26-28; 46:11). The word, “east,” means “sun rising,” and the name, “Cyrus,” means, “sun.” Cyrus came not to attack the Jews, but as their Deliverer, and again, Cyrus was a type of Jesus Christ, the “Sun of righteousness” Malachi 4:2.
In Revelation, God’s angels come from the east (7:2), and Jesus Himself said,
“As the lightning comes out of the east, and shines even to the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be” Matthew 24:27.
Therefore just as Cyrus came from the east to deliver literal Israel from the clutches of literal Babylon, even so will King Jesus descend from the eastern skies with “the armies which were in heaven” (19:14) to conquer spiritual Babylon and to deliver “the Israel of God” (spiritual Israel) at the battle of Armageddon!
The so-called “battle of Armageddon” represents the apex, the climax, the last battle in Revelation.
Throughout Revelation we’ve seen Middle East terms like the “seven golden candlesticks,” (1:20), “Jezebel” (2:20), “Mount Zion,” (14:1), “Jerusalem,” (3:12), “the temple” (11:19), “Sodom and Egypt” (11:8), “Euphrates” (16:12) and “Babylon” (17:5) used in a Christ centered, heavenly, spiritual sense.
When it comes to the “battle of Armageddon,” which is a term depicting the grand finale in the book of Revelation, does it make sense for God’s last book to suddenly shift gears away from its thematic focus by pinpointing a literal, local, high-tech, Middle East-based conflagration involving Russians, Chinese, Syrians, and literal Jews?
We don’t have to guess. The answer is in the context surrounding Revelation 16:16.
- The battle of Armageddon involves “the kings of the earth and of the whole world” (16:14), which could not possibly fit inside the valley of Megiddo.
- Revelation’s focus is “the temple of heaven” (16:17), not a supposedly soon to be rebuilt Jewish temple on earth.
- The effects of the battle of Armageddon are global, far beyond the Middle East (16:18-20).
- The primary system identified as being destroyed at the battle of Armageddon is spiritual “Babylon” (16:19), not Russia, China or Syria.
In essence, the “battle of Armageddon” the last “Super Bowl” depicts the last battle between King Jesus and His heavenly armies ( Rev 19:11-19) against the worldwide forces of Satan referred to in the Apocalypse as “Mystery Babylon.”
At Jesus’ Second Coming, the devil loses, and his global kingdom comes crashing down. Jesus doesn’t need to nuke His foes, but only to use His “sharp two-edged sword” (Rev 1:16; 19:15) which represents His Word of truth (Ephesians 6:17).
When Christ descends from the east, He will deliver “Israel” from the clutches of “Babylon.” But which Israel will He deliver? According to the thematic genius of the entire book of Revelation, it must be “the Israel of God” (Galatians 6:16) centered in Jesus Christ whose home and dwelling place is the “New Jerusalem” Revelation 21:10.
In conclusion, the Middle East remains a powder keg and the U.S. struggle against Muslim radicals continues, and there’s no end in sight. In the midst of such a hot-bed of contention, millions of politically active Christians believe God Himself is not only behind modern Israel, but that He will finally annihilate the enemies of the Jewish State at the battle of Armageddon.
In this great “Super Bowl” of all time, the battle to end all battles, the fight is not a battle between Nation states but a battle between righteousness and truth, and the forces of unrighteousness and untruth. You see this great “Super Bowl” will encompass the entirety of humanity in a final showdown of good and evil, truth triumphing over the lies and the deceptions of the evil one.
God will ultimately judge between right and wrong. His arm will be outstretched to fight against all the enemies of God, who hate his laws, and wage war against his commandments. He will show no favoritism! No denominational ties or affiliations will be able to save you from the wrath of God to be poured out upon all flesh which has partaken of the Harlot’s deceptions. Just like Eve of old, who offered the poisoned fruit to her husband for him to eat, so too has the ‘mother church’ offered the poisoned pill of deception to her children down through the ages. Only those who have refused to partake of this great deception will be spared from the wrath that is to come.
Those who have an ear hear what the Spirit is saying to the church!
Then I heard another voice from heaven say: “Come out of her, my people, so that you will not share in her sins, so that you will not receive any of her plagues; Rev 18:4 (NIV)
But those who are waiting for the Lord will have new strength; they will get wings like eagles: running, they will not be tired, and walking, they will have no weariness. Isaiah 40:31 (BBE)
Along for the journey
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